Tuesday, May 31, 2011


"The Manhattan solstice a.k.a. Manhattan Henge - comes twice a year. This year it falls on May 30 and July 12 - when the sun sets with half the disc sitting above and half below the horizon. Though fans can also enjoy the spectacular views on May 31 and July 11 when at sunset, you can see the entire ball of the sun on the horizon.

The times are calculated every year by the astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, who coined the term 'Manhattanhenge' in 2002, named after the British Stonehenge, which celebrates summer and winter solstice.

Mr deGrasse Tyson notes that the dates correspond with Memorial day and Baseball's All Star Break. He said: 'Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshipped war and baseball.'

He explains that the reason this unique urban phenomenon occurs in Manhattan is due to a clear view to the horizon beyond the grid - as New York does across the Hudson River to New Jersey.

Combine that with the tall buildings which line the streets, creating a vertical channel to frame the sun and you get a rare and striking photographic opportunity."


No comments: