Those of you in Manhattan today should check out "Manhattanhenge" at 8:23pm:


Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as Manhattan Solstice) is a semi-annual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s main street grid. The term is derived from Stonehenge, at which the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. It was coined in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. It applies to those streets that follow the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which laid out a grid offset 28.9 degrees from true east-west.

At sunset, a traveler along one of the north-south avenues on the West Side looking east can observe the phenomenon indirectly, being struck by the reflected light of the many windows which are aligned with the grid. An observer on the East Side can look west and see the Sun shining down a canyon-like street.
The dates of Manhattanhenge are usually May 28 and July 12 or July 13 (spaced evenly around Summer Solstice). The two corresponding mornings of sunrise right on the center lines of the Manhattan grid are approximately December 5 and January 8 (spaced evenly around Winter Solstice).[1] As with the solstices and equinoxes, the dates vary somewhat from year to year.

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  1. VJ commented on Jul 13

    For those who have never been in NYC to view it in person, you can watch a video of the phenomenon at Nova scienceNOW, which is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS:


  2. PeterR commented on Jul 13

    Good one BR — thanks.

    Full Moon Friday, to boot.



  3. Pool Shark commented on Jul 13

    Perfect timing; perfect metafor:

    The sun sets on Manhattan just as Paulson announces the demise of American capitalism with the FNM & FRE ‘monetization’ deal.

    R.I.P. US$

  4. jhunt commented on Jul 13

    off topic, but its nice to see that uncle ben and paulson either know nothing about what their respective agencies do on a day-to-day basis or they lied.

  5. Roger Bigod commented on Jul 13

    Not to be spoiled or damanding or anything, but I was expecting some infoporn on what the market did the day after. With graphics for the weather conditions, so we scientific types can guess whether it’s the light or the astral energy lineup.

    On the off-topic topic, Gretchen Morgenstern was in full snark mode over the Federal “assistance”. She sounded like Calculated Risk after a NAR press release. I hope she doesn’t get in trouble with her editors. They’re usually more deferential to the Authorities.

  6. wpepper commented on Jul 13

    I wish I bought more gold.

  7. redshelby commented on Jul 13

    I have to report that Wikipedia has it wrong in that there is no December replication of this event. Check out Hayden Planitarium’s

    by Neil deGrasse Tyson, © 2001-2008
    for the straight scoop. At the winter solstice, the sunset is SO FAR SOUTH that it would be impossible to get the same alignment.

  8. VennData commented on Jul 13

    It’s cool to watch in Chicago too. Now if Sol would align with a few named quasars and carbon trading gets OKed by Beelzebub (causing some Hell-wide cooling) the Cubs might have a chance.

  9. Brian commented on Jul 13

    Off topic – Any thoughts on Barron’s cover predicting a bottom in housing?

  10. OIL152 commented on Jul 14

    uly 13 (Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sought authority from Congress to buy unlimited stakes in and lend to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, aiming to stem the collapse of confidence in the largest sources of U.S. mortgage financing.

    Fascinating: will the market rally or crash more?

  11. Don commented on Jul 14

    “At the winter solstice, the sunset is SO FAR SOUTH that it would be impossible to get the same alignment.”

    Ah, but with global warming, that will surely change.

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