Photo via d26b73 on Flickr
While the biannual sunset that aligns perfectly between two skyscrapers in Manhattan is perhaps the best known ‘henge,’ it’s certainly not the only one. Because every neighborhood in New York City features its own pattern of a street grid, each has its own henge days (h/t NY Times). An interactive map called NYCHenge displays where mini-henges happen for every sunset throughout the year, allowing outer-borough residents to snap a solid sunset picture nearly every day.
The idea of Manhattanhenge, created by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, is a play on “Stonehenge,” the circle of stone in England built to align with the sun’s movement. The grid of Manhattan doesn’t run perfectly north-south and east-west because everything is rotated roughly 29 degrees clockwise.
During the summer solstice, the sun will set about 32 degrees north of true west. This means a few weeks before and after the solstice, the sun sets at the same angle as Manhattan’s grid, 29 degrees north of true west.
Developed by CARTO, a geospatial company, the map lets users find henges by date and location. The group also wants to add more cities outside of New York. “We want to see a MissionHenge for SF, or a LatinaHenge for Madrid,” CARTO’s website reads. “There is also some functionality we would love to include, like ‘Which day is there an event including my street?'”
The team found that the East Bronx and Crown Heights, two neighborhoods that run nearly exactly east to west, would be the best to watch the sunset on the first day of autumn and spring. And at the beginning of October, the grids of Brooklyn neighborhoods like Greenpoint, East Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy will align with the sunset, making it a potential picture-perfect event (if no trees or buildings stand in the way).
Explore the mini-henge map here.
[Via NY Times]
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