NYC Awestruck by 'Manhattan-henge'

Setting sun sets east-west streets aglow twice a year
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 1, 2011 2:52 AM CDT
Updated Jun 1, 2011 5:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Centuries from now historians will speculate about the ruins of a once-great city whose buildings lined up perfectly for a semi-annual celestial occurrence. But for now, New Yorkers merely stand, agog for once, awestruck by "Manhattan-henge." It's the twice-annual happening when skyscrapers are lined up just right to reveal the setting sun along east-west streets from one side of the island to the other. "I didn't want to take my eyes off it. I can't wait to see it again," one first-timer tells the New York Daily News. It happened yesterday and will occur again July 11.

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The term "Manhattan-henge" to describe the phenomenon was dubbed by Museum of Natural History astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in homage to the prehistoric Stonehenge in England, where the sun aligns with the ruins on the solstices. (Read more Manhattan-henge stories.)

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