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Photographers Line Up For Manhattanhenge


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • summer solstice: the longest day of the year; the onset of summer
  • align: to form a line with something else
  • horizon: the line where the sky and the earth’s surface meet
  • coin: to come up with a name
  • astrophysicist: a person who studies the properties and structures of objects in space

Photographers Line Up For Manhattanhenge

Manhattanhenge is a phenomenon also known as the Manhattan Solstice. Photographers in New York watch for it twice a year, at the end of May and in the middle of July. This is when the aligns itself perfectly with the east-west streets of Manhattan. Before it sets, the full sun is in between skyscrapers at the end of many streets on the city’s grid just above the horizon. The term “Manhattanhenge” was coined by a New Yorker named Neil deGrasse Tyson who visited Stonehenge as a child. The phenomenon compares to Stonehenge in England. When viewed from the centre of the monument, the rising sun aligns with the Heel Stone on the summer solstice. After coining the term, the astrophysicist published the dates and times for New Yorkers to see it. Photographers have to get the perfect shot of Manhattanhenge. Other cities that are built on a like New York experience a similar phenomenon.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is Manhattanhenge?
  2. Who is Neil deGrasse Tyson?
  3. When does this occur in New York City?

Discussion Questions: Have you ever taken a photograph that you are proud of? Where did you take it? What or who is in the photo? Share some photography tricks that you know.

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