Stonehenge, NYC

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Stonehenge in Manhattan is getting more popular every year. Via Boing-Boing:

NYC turns into Stonehenge – [On May 28], Manhattan floods dramatically with sunlight just as the Sun sets precisely on the centerline of every street.

Usually, the tall buildings that line the gridded streets of New York City’s tallest borough will hide the setting Sun.

This effect makes Manhattan a type of modern Stonehenge, although only aligned to about 30 degrees east of north. Were Manhattan’s road grid perfectly aligned to east and west, today’s effect would occur on the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox, March 21 and September 21, the only two days that the Sun rises and sets due east and west.

If today’s sunset is hidden by clouds do not despair — the same thing happens [approximately] every May 28 and July 12.

This year it happened on the 30th.

And remember, don’t look directly into the sun! I took these shots by adjusting focus for the approximate distance and holding the camera way up over my head. It worked – kinda..

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
This entry was posted in domestic politics. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Stonehenge, NYC

  1. Bruce Parker says:

    And twice this other dude is taking your picture. What the hell?

    A far tougher quest would be to see the shape of disk of the sun at sunset, something we could see with the naked eye, but neither of our cameras was filtered or focused for.

  2. marypmadigan says:

    I think he’s taking a picture of himself w/the sunset behind him in the second shot.

    The boingboing article has a photograph taken by Tyson, and it looks like he was crossing the street. It might be a good idea to take photos that way, with the Empire state building in the background..?

    I like the photo of the shadows in the road. The shadows, streaming directly behind the objects, is sometimes a cooler effect than the sun itself –

  3. Bruce Parker says:

    Folks are now starting to post their pictures, and some are really nice: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/manhattanhenge. For me, it’s just an indication of how much trouble professional photographers go through to prepare for these difficult shots.

  4. Mary says:

    The first shot looks like it was taken with a filter that makes light sources look ‘starry’

    Was that how it looked through your telescope filter?

  5. Bruce Parker says:

    The telescope filter is so thorough that you can’t see anything but the sun’s disk, which is why you can safely magnify the image.

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