Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ready for Des MoinesHenge?

We've all heard of Stonehenge, some of us have heard of Manhattanhenge, but a website called SunCalc enables us all to think of our own cities as Carrollhenge or Des Moineshenge.

To play on the idea that Stonehenge was built for marking the solar events, Manhattanhenge is an event that happens twice a year when the sunset aligns with the street grid in Manhattan (far right image).  Because of the skyline, these two days a year are the only two days someone on the ground can see the sun meet the horizon. 

To figure out if this happens in your city or town, a website called SunCalc allows you to calculate the angle of sunrise/sunset from any vantage point on the planet. With this information, you could figure out when your surroundings mark sunrise or sunset.  You enter a location and a date, then SunCalc determines the angle you would see the sun rise or set.

This Saturday looks like a good match between the sunset and the downtown Des Moines street grid.  February 8th looked like a good date to watch the sun rise in downtown Carroll.

How does your city line up

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