Friday, July 10, 2009

Coming up--Manhattanhenge!

Looking west on 42nd Street, July 12, 2006


Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as Manhattan Solstice) is a biannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan's main street grid. 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, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. It applies to those streets that follow the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, which laid out a grid offset 28.9 degrees from true east-west.

At sunset, a traveler along one of the north-south avenues on the West Side looking east can observe the phenomenon indirectly, being struck by the reflected light of the many windows which are aligned with the grid. An observer on the East Side can look west and see the Sun shining down a canyon-like street.

The next date for Manhattanhenge in 2009 is July 12.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

See you in a week

When I'm back maybe I'll have some pictures of Czech moths!

PS At the Natural History Museum event last night, we had four small moths at the Moth Station, one unseen but detected bat at the Bat Station, and Saturn with rings and at least one moon [Titon] at the Star-gazing station. I hope everyone had fun. I did.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Murray Head's lesson for the day (if you are a hawk)

Riverside Jr. Hawks awaiting lunch as mother arrives with take-out.

Jr. Hawk#2 jumps over Jr. Hawk #1 who figured he was first in line

Jr. Hawk #1 is literally taken aback by the bold move.

The lesson he/she may have learned today:

Being beautiful is not enough. If you are a hawk you need to be bold too,

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A young hawk salutes the 4th

photo by MURRAY HEAD

Yesterday I posted my uneasy hopes that the 4th of July fireworks not spook the young Riverside Park fledglings. Murray Head sent the above picture of one of the two Riverside kids -- both models of health and fearlessness--and wrote in response:

I hope they just consider the fireworks as they would thunder and lighting... and go to sleep shortly after they are over.

PS from Marie: I'm sure they did.

PPS Thought I'd share a really nice review of Central Park in the Dark, now that the paperback edition is out. Here's a link to the file: