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May 30, 2011

Missing Manhattanhenge

ManhattanhengeANOTHER YEAR ROLLS BY and I'm missing Manhattanhenge yet again. It's a unique urban phenomenon in New York City. The skyscrapers that line the gridded streets of NYC's tallest boroughs normally block the setting sun. Clever photographers know that on the 30th of May and 12th of July this year, a radiant glow of light will simultaneously illuminate both the north and south sides of every cross street throughout Manhattan. The American Museum of Natural History's Neil deGrasse Tyson has asked, "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..." especially when the sun aligns in perfectly with the city's street grid. That's Neil's photo attached to the blog post. I want to snap one just like it before the end of the decade.

Astronomy Picture of the Day -- "Manhattan sunset" picture by Neil de Grasse Tyson
Natural History Magazine -- "Sunset on 34th Street Along the Manhattan Grid"

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