Get ready, because today is the first of this year’s dual Manhattanhenge occurrences. Of course, this would be insanely awesome if I could actually get my head around what Manhattanhenge is.
The visually stunning event occurs twice a year, when the sun sets in perfect alignment with Manhattan’s street grid—it will fully illuminate every single cross-street for the last 15 minutes of daylight. It will take place on Monday at 8:17 p.m. according to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. There will also be a half-sun effect on Tuesday at 8:25 p.m. The second date this year will take place on Monday, July 11 at 8:25 p.m., and there will be a half-sun on Tuesday July 12 at 8:25 p.m.
What I can’t quite figure out is what the difference is between a normal day when the sun shines on the entire city and this day when the sun shines on the entire city. Are there no shadows or something?
From The Daily News:
For about thirty minutes before sunset May 30 and July 12, both the south and north sides of Manhattan’s cross streets will be illuminated as the sun glides into its dead-center position relative to the grid.
So it is a shadow thing.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to catch the event, as I will be stuck on the very non-illuminated streets of Brooklyn. For those of you who can make it out at the appropriate time, Tyson suggests hanging around those big bad streets we love to hate, namely 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th.
Seeing as those streets are some of the worst places on Earth to be stuck on a hot summer’s day, I’d say this double dose of unfiltered light is just the Sun’s way of saying, Maybe you shouldn’t cry like a little baby-baby every time it rains!
To which I’d say, Oh, Sun. You’re so sensitive.