Memorial Day Manhattanhenge, 2011


Boing Boing reader Vivienne Gucwa took this shot today, May 30, 2011, as the sun set directly in line with the New York City grid next to the Chrysler Building. Wikipedia:

Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice) is a semiannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. 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.
And, lo and behold, Neil took his own snapshot today, too!


  1. There’s a word for this? I’ve always marveled at a single instance of this: those two days a year when the rising sun shines straight down the entrance to Penn Station and real light reaches almost all the way to the crummy tie store. Trudging up the stairs on those days when it’s entirely filled with light is like rising into Heaven, if the angels played car horns and pissed on the sidewalk.

  2. I think I’ll stick to my rural home and stay thousands of miles away from NYC.

    I get an amazing sunset every single day of the year, and at night the stars are beautiful.

  3. I used to like Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    But you see I work at Spelman College, an historically black college for women, in the physics department. Spelman has a reputation for being a top producer of talented scientists. We’ve produced more black women who have gone on to get Ph.D.’s than any other college in the world. The physics department in particular was recognized by the American Physical Society this year for producing more black physics B.S. recipients (male or female) than any other institution.

    So last year we had the bright idea of bringing some prominent black scientists, preferably physicists or closely related fields, to speak with our students about the ins and outs of a life in science, especially if you are a minority.

    The first person we contacted was Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    Who said (or, more accurately, his people said): “Sure! Dr. Tyson would be delighted to speak with your students. His speaking fee is $30,000.”

    I don’t like Neil deGrasse Tyson any more.

  4. Thousands of years from now they will be debaiting if people lived there or if it was a giant astronomical calculating device.

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