Astronomy and Artistry

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Tipster Rick Betita directed Bwog’s attention to Gothamist, whose attention was focused on The New Yorker‘s Letters to the Editor section. Specifically the letter in which Michael Allison, adjunct professor of astronomy at Columbia, had written about January 28th’s cover (see right). 

Allison insists that due to the certain conditions (namely,”the angle of the long axis of the concourse, following that of Manhattan’s east-west streets, is not 90° but 119° east of north, and aligns with the sun through its “west” windows only from late May to early July, and then only at an elevation of less than 3°”), the scene must have been deliberately revered. Allison continues, “But aren’t those the south-side ticket windows at the left of the picture, with the tracks and trains therefore on the right? And doesn’t the clock seem to read three-fifty, hardly a time for the morning sun?”

You can read the full letter here, in all its wonky glory.

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  1. harumph!  

    Bwog! This is a misrepresentation of Allison's letter! Of course his descriptions of the discrepancies are amusing and cooky, but his letter is an actual analysis of the meaning of the artist's depiction of the discrepancies, not just a dorky guy pointing out a funny error that a normal person wouldn't write in to the New Yorker.

  2. not wonky  

    but awesome.

    props to Allison!

  3. impressive

    columbia professors: changing the world one astronomically imprecise lit mag cover at a time.

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