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Old 07-15-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
glatt
 
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July 15, 2011: Manhattanhenge

On the Manhattan solstice, the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in Manhattan. Manhattanhenge is similar to Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. It applies to streets that follow the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, which are laid out in a grid offset 29.0 degrees from true east–west.

The Manhattan solstice happens twice a year, around the true summer solstice. This year it occurred on May 31st, 21 days before the actual summer solstice, and earlier this week on July 13th, 21 days after the actual summer solstice.

It's apparently becoming more and more popular since it was popularized in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. The good viewing spots on bridges become crowded as the sunset approaches, and photographers go out into the middle of the street to get good pictures.

Thanks to jasoneppink, who made his photograph available on Flickr with a creative commons license.

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Old 07-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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Ugh - nice pic, but it makes me feel claustrophobic just looking at it. I need to see TREES & grass.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
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That is really cool, glatt! Imma move to Manhattan just for the 'henge.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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That is really cool, glatt! Imma move to Manhattan just for the 'henge.
Be careful! You may become hinged.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:06 AM   #5
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I never would have imagined a City city planner would plan for something like this. Especially in the late 1800's.

On second thought, I wonder why this wasn't ritualized and passed on down through the years.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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The Manhattan solstice happens twice a year, around the true summer solstice. This year it occurred on May 31st, 21 days before the actual summer solstice, and earlier this week on July 13th, 21 days after the actual summer solstice.
Two thousand years from now, when they unearth the ruins of this ancient city of the Americans, they will note that we were too crude to actually get the solstice quite right--not like that advanced culture that created Stonehenge.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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Two thousand years from now, when they unearth the ruins of this ancient city of the Americans, they will note that we were too crude to actually get the solstice quite right--not like that advanced culture that created Stonehenge.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:57 PM   #8
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That is really cool, glatt! Imma move to Manhattan just for the 'henge.
I might move to Manhattan for the minge, but, not the henge, unless I become un-hinged...
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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Ugh - nice pic, but it makes me feel claustrophobic just looking at it. I need to see TREES & grass.
Skip downtown then, you want something in mid-town with a view of Central Park.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:48 PM   #10
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I never would have imagined a City city planner would plan for something like this. Especially in the late 1800's.
In England there is a railway tunnel two miles long, completed in 1841, and on the engineer's birthday the rising sun shines directly through the tunnel's entire length. It's the Box Hill Tunnel and the engineer was Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:35 PM   #11
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really? Thats most interesting. Pics or....
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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Wikipedia says

Quote:
Brunel's birthdayThere is a story which states that Brunel deliberately aligned the tunnel such that the rising sun is visible through it on 9 April each year, his birthday. Opinions vary widely as to whether this is true. Angus Buchanan (2002, p. 269) writes:

The alignment of the Box Tunnel has been the subject of serious discussion in the New Civil Engineer and elsewhere. I am grateful to my friend James Richard for making calculations which convinced me that the alignment on 9 April would permit the sun to be visible through the tunnel soon after dawn on a fine day.
On the other hand, it has been asserted that it is impossible to guarantee the effect on a particular calendar day, because the angle at which the sun rises on a given date varies slightly with the cycle of leap years.[2] However, the sun subtends an angle of about half a degree, which is more than the year to year variation, and more than the field of view through the tunnel, so it quite possibly seems to fill the tunnel every year. It is also asserted that Brunel failed to account for atmospheric refraction and the effect is visible a few days too early.[3]

Buchanan (ibid., p. 226) concludes:

...I have found no documentary evidence for the often-repeated story that Brunel aligned the Box Tunnel so that the rising sun shone through it on his birthday, even though careful examination shows that it could indeed do so, and it is certainly a good story.
It is tempting to think that with a suitable vantage point, the effect (if not Brunel's intentions) can easily be checked on 9 April. However, the appropriate point is in the middle of a high-speed railway line and is thus potentially very dangerous. Photographs of the effect have reportedly been taken with appropriate assistance from railway officials
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:30 AM   #13
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Already went there... hence the "Pics or ...." comment.
I didn't see any images when I searched.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:35 PM   #14
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