Welcome to Common Core Texts, a project by Michael DeJoseph. Here you'll find high-quality reading passages for grades 3 to 12 in ELA, Social Studies, History, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and many other topics.

Manhattanhenge
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

If you happen to be walking the streets of New York City on the evening of July 12th, 2018, get ready to see something special. The locals call it “Manhattanhenge.” The first thing you’ll notice will be the unusual number of people standing on the sidewalks gazing westward. In a city as bustling and busy as New York, it’s not often that you’ll see people bothering to stop and stare at the sky! Find a spot that is safe from the speeding taxis and city buses, then look down the street. You’ll be treated to a beautiful view as the sun sets straight down the center of the street.

On a normal day in New York, the sunsets aren’t much to look at. The city’s huge skyscrapers ordinarily block the sunset. They make it impossible to see the sun actually disappear over the horizon. But for one day each year, the sunset lines up perfectly with the streets of New York. Because New York’s streets are ruler-straight, they provide a perfect view of the horizon, with not a single building to ruin the view.

Where does the term “Manhattanhenge” come from? It is a combination of “Stonehenge” and “Manhattan.” Manhattan is the center of New York City. Stonehenge is a famous stone monument in England where the sun rises directly behind a large stone once every year. But check a newspaper before you start planning your trip to see Manhattanhenge. Its exact date changes from year to year.


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