I try and keep things focused on the UWS here, but I saw this mentioned in a variety of places and I thought it was too cool not to share (yes, I can be a geek).
Tonight (and apparently yesterday) New Yorkers can revel in the bi-annual phenomenon known as “Manhattanhenge.”
“[Manhattanhenge is] 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.”
I did a Google Images search for “Manhattanhenge” and found some fantastic photos. I’ve lived in NYC for 10 years and just outside of it for my entire life and I’d never heard of this until today.
Last night resulted in a “half-disc” appearance of the sun — tonight it’ll be the whole thing. The best cross-streets for viewing are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th. I would think some of the major crosstown streets on the UWS would be OK too, but I can’t say for sure. There are certainly fewer skyscrapers up here than in Midtown, so the effect probably won’t be as cool around here.
Manhattanhenge takes place at 8:17 pm tonight, though it’s suggested you get setup about 30 minutes before for optimal viewing.
I highly suggest reading Tyson’s full post on the subject. It’s a quick read that’s both interesting and entertaining.
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Tags: Astronomy, Hayden Planetarium, Manhattan Solstice, Manhattanhenge, Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York City, NYC, photo opportunities, Upper West Side, UWS