IRA FLATOW, host:

Flora Lichtman is here now with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN: Hey, Ira.

FLATOW: What do you got for us this week?

LICHTMAN: This week, we have a pretty cool, cosmic event, I think.

FLATOW: Ooh.

LICHTMAN: It's called Manhattanhenge.

(Soundbite of whistle)

LICHTMAN: I was just thinking we need some eerie music.

FLATOW: Yes, we do. You mean, like, Stonehenge? Manhattanhenge?

LICHTMAN: Yes. Its namesake is Stonehenge, although it doesn't have to do with the Solstice, really. It was dubbed Manhattanhenge over a decade ago by the head of the Hayden Planetarium, we know…

FLATOW: Neil deGrasse Tyson.

LICHTMAN: Yes, exactly.

FLATOW: And it - what happens during the Manhattanhenge?

LICHTMAN: It is the day or the time during the year when the sunset lines up with the Manhattan street grid.

FLATOW: So you look down the street, you see the sun setting.

LICHTMAN: That's right. That's it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LICHTMAN: But it actually looks really cool.

FLATOW: That's very cool. You have to see it. It's at sciencefriday.com. It's our video Pick of the Week. We have actually a time lapse. We did a very nice time - the sun setting on - and you can see it in many streets or just in one street?

LICHTMAN: At any cross street that has a view of Jersey, you can see. Because you need the horizon.

FLATOW: You need the horizon.

LICHTMAN: So that's a key thing. And we were on 42nd Street, which has a nice bridge going over, so we got a…

FLATOW: Right.

LICHTMAN: …a straight shot view.

FLATOW: But if you live in Washington D.C., which has a grid system, or a lot of different towns, do you have your own?

LICHTMAN: You might have your own henge.

FLATOW: You have your own henge.

LICHTMAN: I mean, Dr. Tyson intimates that this might be a New York phenomena. But I can't tell if that's just because he's a New Yorker…

FLATOW: He's from the Bronx (unintelligible).

LICHTMAN: Yeah, exactly. Right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LICHTMAN: So if - you know, if there is a Wichitahenge, it would be great to know.

FLATOW: We want to know about it.

LICHTMAN: Yeah, we'd like to know.

FLATOW: Yes. If you have a henge and your - you have a henge in your city, in other words, the sun setting down a certain street and you can see it set there.

LICHTMAN: And it's framed…

FLATOW: And it's framed.

LICHTMAN: …basically, by the building.

FLATOW: Send us a video of it or tell us about it.

LICHTMAN: Send us a video or a photo.

FLATOW: Yeah. And we'd love to know about it and we'll put it on our SCIENCE FRIDAY site.

LICHTMAN: Yeah. And you can actually track - I mean, you can buy a program that'll track the path of the sun. So you can figure this out. Simple planetarium programs let you do this.

FLATOW: And people come out to see this when you were out filming this, right?

LICHTMAN: It was unbelievable. I mean, there were, like, at least 50 people ooh-ing and aah-ing. There was clapping. It was - you know?

FLATOW: In the middle of the street, taking pictures of the sun setting over Jersey.

LICHTMAN: Yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LICHTMAN: But - I mean, we should - it actually is cool looking. It's worth it.

FLATOW: It is, no, it's great. It's beautiful. And you've done a great job with it, as always.

LICHTMAN: Thanks, Ira.

FLATOW: That's Flora Lichtman, our video producer. And the Manhattanhenge, as I say, is at sciencefriday.com on our Video Pick of the Week. If you have your own henge with your own city, we'd love to see it. Please, send it to us.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.