Scott Matthews caught the exact moment of Cathedral-henge this morning, with the sun passing just in front of the Artchangel Gabriel at the top of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at daybreak. This phenomenon only occurs twice a year, and Scott had feared that he’d missed it because of several cloudy days in a row. But today Cathedralhenge emerged in all its glory! And oh my is it something!

We asked Scott, who takes these and his other awesome photos from his apartment on 106th street, if the photo contains any religious meaning for him.

I’m not religious, so that doesn’t play into it for me — but other people will see other things, and I think that’s awesome. But it DOES relate to my scientific appreciation for the beauty of nature (eg, my “religion”) — and for our ability to observe, learn, and make predictions. For example, i’m grateful to have learned to recognize the pattern of the Sun rising slightly more north (or slightly more south) each day — and then be able to apply that knowledge to predict when and where the sun will rise.

And I’m grateful that this particular alignment happens (from my vantage in this apartment) in mid-May and late-July — very close to my sister and mother’s birthdays, so it’s even easy to remember.

And i’m grateful that each time it turns out quite different — for example, this time I used a narrow aperture to bring out that diffraction pattern around the Sun.

(For what it’s worth: I also now happen to believe people draw points around the sun — think of a kid’s drawing, or even Mayan calendars — as a “lingering cultural artifact” of “early scientists” who also noticed diffraction patterns, just like this one — but obviously having used other instruments to discover them.)

Frankly, we think these photos should be in a local gallery at about 10 times the size as you can see them on this page. Heck, we’ll even provide the wine and cheese for the opening…

ART | 4 comments | permalink
    1. WombatNYC says:

      Great Picture !. Wonder how this will change when the Brodsky building is completed.. Divine Abomination !

    2. JANNYC says:

      What a fabulous photo – beyond its extraordinary aesthetic! Thank you, Scott Matthews!