Second Life’s 8th Birthday: Days and Nights

June 13, 2011

Our SL8B exhibit celebrating the magic of collaboration transcending space and time is coming together! One of the demonstrations maps the day/night cycle across the earth in real time.

Imagine taking a globe and cutting vertically from pole to pole on just one side and carefully peeling it like the skin of an orange, then flattening it out. It would look something like this map. Here, the curved light and dark regions illustrate the areas of night and day as they are right now – this is the magic of time in our world, wherever we live.

Real Time Day/Night Map

In Nature, things happen in cycles, like the days and nights. They happen because of the way Planet Earth moves around the Sun, with a full elliptical revolution taking one year, about 365 days. At the same time it revolves around the Sun, the Earth also rotates on its own axis, giving us periods of light and darkness – our days and nights. A full rotation takes approximately 24 hours, moving 15 degrees per hour. The side of Earth that faces the Sun is in daylight, while the other side is in night, and every hour, the Earth rotates counterclockwise another 15 degrees – which is why you see the sun rising in the east, setting in the west. This is all just science, but… to us who live on this planet, it’s a magical thing to greet the sunrise in the morning and watch its fiery farewell in the evening.

In Second Life, a single day is comprised of 3 hours of daytime and 1 hour of night, which means a real world 24-hour day is equivalent to six SL days. A lot can happen in a day!

The SL8B celebration officially opens on 20th June at 10:30am SLT; be sure and visit our exhibit at


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