the sun sets here
September 29, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

When is Torontohenge?

Some of you might be familiar with Manhattanhenge, the phenomena where the sunset is in line with the east-west streets in Manhattan. Much of Toronto's downtown core is on such a grid, although on a different angle, and I'm wondering wether a similar thing will happen here. I tried to calculate this once, but could never get all the variables sorted. Is there an astronomy geek who can help me out?
posted by thenormshow to Science & Nature (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "The Toronto street grid is generally rotated by sixteen degrees west of north." (p. 44)

That is, the street grid will align with sunrise when that occurs at 90°-16°=74° azimuth, and with sunset when that occurs at 270°-16°=254° azimuth.

This sunrise and sunset calculator includes an option to show the azimuth. Checking there, it looks like in 2008, sunrise aligns with the grid on April 17 or 18, and August 23 or 24; and sunset on February 16 or 17, and October 23 or 24. ("N or N+1" in all cases since both the reference for the angle of the grid and the azimuth are only given to the nearest degree. More precision would be needed in those angles for the exact answer.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

awesome question - a few years back I saw this happen - the sun was setting and shining orange all down Queen St. The pavement glowed! I didn't have a camera with me then, but will make sure I have one handy this year, it was really beautiful.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:45 PM on September 29, 2008

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