Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Manhattanhenge

"What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England. For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season.
innyworld on Instagram
For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid. A rare and beautiful sight.
innyworld on Instagram
For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible. But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey. Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th. 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them. The Empire State building and the Chrysler building render 34th street and 42nd streets especially striking vistas.-----
innyworld on Instagram
Unnoticed by many, the sunset point actually creeps day to day along the horizon: northward until the first day of summer, then returning southward until the first day of winter. In spite of what pop-culture tells you, the Sun rises due east and sets due west only twice per year. On the equinoxes: the first day of spring and of autumn. Every other day, the Sun rises and sets elsewhere on the horizon. Had Manhattan's grid been perfectly aligned with the geographic north-south line, then the days of Manhattanhenge would coincide with the equinoxes. But Manhattan's street grid is rotated 30 degrees east from geographic north, shifting the days of alignment elsewhere into the calendar.
midnight.xpress on Instagram
So Manhattanhenge may just be a unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the universe."

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***ALL the above text is from the American Museum of Natural History's website. Neil deGrasse Tyson explains it all in a way that makes sense to me, and since I could never summarize, I felt it best to send you over to the original page, which you can do by clicking here.

And.... my first Manhattanhenge was this year.
It was a bust due to some low-lying clouds, but was fun to see all the photographers (and wanna-be photographers) trying to get a good angle. Of course, as you can see above, a great vantage point is important as well :)



So tell me...
Have you ever been to Manhattanhenge?
Or, have you ever been to Stonehenge, and think this pales in comparison?
What cool phenomenon does your area have or boast of?


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12 comments:

  1. Sooo pretty I definitely have never thought about this phenomenon thanks for sharing!

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    1. I wouldn't have either had I not married a man who loves urban grids and design. But, the photos (not the one I took) make a great case for why it's so awesome :)

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  2. i'm proud of my city - and the photos you took :D

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    1. They are amazing, and only the bottom is my own. Check out the instagrams under the other ones!

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  3. Replies
    1. They are amazing, and only the bottom is my own. Check out the instagrams under the other ones!

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  4. Thanks for the post and pictures - I'd read about the phenomenon, but didn't go any further! Wishing you many happy adventures in adapting to city life! (I'd love to try it, but hubby isn't on board for a big city. We'll see where God leads...)

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    1. Always adapting (and I never thought I'd move here). Funny how it ends up though right?

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  5. Wonderful pictures, Farin. The sun through the buildings is really beautiful.

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    1. It is, but only the bottom one is mine. I'm not bold enough to scale buildings or know where to get the other amazing shots. Check out the instagrams under the other ones!

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  6. Wow! I never knew about that. I've only been to Manhattan a few times, but would love to look for this if I ever go there again.

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    1. It's only a few times a year, but if you go, make sure you google what streets to stand on. Some places (like Long Island City, just out of Manhattan, have the best views- as seen above).

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