The Sun's Shadow

Stumbling to find a light switch in the dark

View Sunspots in Grand Central Terminal

Do you like fun simple science you don’t need a degree to have fun with? I do! There a pretty cool way you can study or at least check out sunspots from inside Grand Central Terminal Of course I feel obligated to give the normal disclaimer never look directly in to the sun unless you would like to damage your eyes… and you will if you look in to the sun… Anyway back to the astronomy in the terminal.

take a plain white sheet of paper to the terminal’s Grand Concourse around 2:30 p.m. or a half-hour each way, when the sun shines straight along Park Avenue. (The exact times vary.) The day should be sunny, clear and cloudless.

The southern wall of the Grand Concourse, facing 42nd Street, has semicircular grills high up, with small curlicued spaces like those in a leafy tree. Many of those spaces act like the aperture of a pinhole camera, reflecting an image of the sun that, when it reaches the floor, will be 8 to 12 inches wide. The smaller grill spaces will produce dimmer but sharper solar images on your paper.

Right now the forecast calls for rain in the city this weekend which would be my first opportunity to check this out… but if it turns out to nice I will definate spend a few minutes checking this out.

Grand Central Terminal fun fact… many people mistakenly believe the name of the train station is Grand Central Station its not that would be the post office.


June 25, 2008 - Posted by | Astronomy, New York, Science | ,

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