Burcham-Henge Returns

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Sunday, March 18, 2018, 7:55 pm
Aron Sousa

Above: Photo from Sunday evening, March 18, 2018.

Burcham-Henge is back.

This is the bi-annual phenomenon by which the sunrise lines up perfectly with Burcham Drive between Abbot and Hagadorn Roads on the celestial equinoxes.

Starting with sunset tonight, local geeks and others can enjoy the phenomenon for the next few days just after sunrise (which starts between 7:37 and 7:44 a.m. this week) and just before sunset (which happens between 7:46 and 7:54 p.m. this week). Earliest this week will be best for viewing because of the alignment and predicted weather.

This map from SunCalc shows the alignment tomorrow morning along Burcham:

Equinoxes occur twice a year, in March and September, marking the time when day and night are of equal length on earth. Last year, we asked Scott House, East Lansing's Director of Public Works, if he knew whether it might be the case that Burcham Drive was purposefully set up to align perfectly east and west when it was laid out years ago.

House said he wasn’t sure of the answer to that, but he provided us images of the properties and streets in East Lansing from 1874, 1895, and 1914 showing that Burcham Drive is a relatively old road. Take a look. (The orange arrows point to Burcham Drive.)

Editor’s note: The name “Burcham-Henge” is not official and was coined by this reporter about two years ago. (It is a reference to Stonehenge.)


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