What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?

Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England.

For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season.

For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year.

-

From ‘Manhattanhenge’ by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.

Tonight is the second night this year that the sunset will align with Manhattan’s grid—producing a luminous effect.

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