Thursday, May 24, 2007

2007 May 30 - Manhattanhenge notification

Manhattanhenge occurs May 30th, beginning at 8:10 p.m. It happens a second time later in the year on 13 July at 8:20 p.m. Any street that looks across town to the western horizon works. In the past, I have tried 34th St. & 57th St. This year I am considering Vista Rock Summit Rock, one of the highest elevations in Central Park and overlooks W83rd St.

In a star-struck message from AMNH, Neil deGrasse Tyson corrects a misnomer "Manhattan Solstice":

Note that last year, an article in the New York Times identified this annual event as the "Manhattan Solstice". A term that has achieved some currency since then. But of course, the word "solstice" translates from the Latin solstitium, meaning "stopped sun," in reference to the winter and summer solstices where the Sun's daily arc across the sky reaches its extreme southerly and northerly limits. Manhattanhenge comes about because the Sun's arc has *not* yet reached these limits, and is on route to them, as we catch a brief glimpse of the setting Sun along the canyons of our narrow streets."
Read the 2002 City of Stars essay. As with most celestial events there is a ramp up time and ramp down to the day of the event, so watch the sunsets on the preceding and succeeding days as the Sun slowly creeps northward along the western horizon.