It may seem simple, but the day and night cycle on Earth has lots of moving parts that work together. Let’s start out with the Earth. The Earth spins on its axis, which is an imaginary line that goes down the center of the Earth. As the Earth spins, different parts of the Earth face the Sun and other face away from the Sun. The half of the Earth that is facing the Sun is experiencing daytime and the half facing away from the Sun is experiencing nighttime. This is all due to the spinning of the Earth. How long the day and night is depends on how long it takes for the Earth to complete one spin. That time is about 23 hours and 56 minutes.