Manhattenhenge is coming tonight July 11 at 8:25pm

From the NYT:

“Bright Lights, Big City” takes on a whole new meaning during Manhattanhenge, the semiannual phenomenon when the sun so perfectly aligns with the Manhattan grid that it shines on both sides of every cross-street. (May 31, 8:17 p.m., and July 11, 8:25 p.m.; the best views are from the east and from the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.)

As long as I’ve worked in the city, I never witnessed this myself. It’s probably more stunning if you are in a cab going North or South and seeing the sunset pop into view at every cross street.

Type Ia Supernova

My son Giovanni is becoming obsesses with Astronomy. We’ve been reading a book on Astronomy together and watching a ton of episodes of The Universe and How the Universe Was Made (the latter being superior, IMHO). One of the episodes we loved is the one about supernovae. Last night, we sat down and did a few drawings and this is the one I did of a Type Ia Supernova. I used pastels (again) and then scanned it into my computer and applied a few filters to make it look nice. This was an awesome opportunity for a lens flare effect in Photoshop! Below is the final image. Note, the slight blue haze around the white dwarf was a specific request from my son.

This image represents one of the stages leading to the Supernova. Wikipedia explains it nicely in this diagram:

The Sun and Superman

Who agrees that Superman is not “powered” by the Sun, but instead the sun’s energy is simply a catalyst for some inexplicable reaction within his Kryptonian body that enables Superman to generate a lot more energy than his surface area could ever absorb directly from the sun?