Stargazing at the High Line
It’s a myth that the city lights prevent stargazing in our grand metropolis. Yes, we have a bright night sky, but one only needs to learn how to look past it, and know the best places for doing so. While you could head uptown to use the telescope at the Adler Planetarium, an equally splendid experience awaits much nearer to the Midtown West apartments at 555TEN. Every Tuesday, celestial enthusiasts and citizen scientists gather on the High Line for a night of fun and learning under the stars. Come out to take a peek at the cosmos through high-powered telescopes, or enjoy a romantic nighttime stroll along the park’s path. Or do both. Inspiration awaits you. You just have to take the time to wander out — and to look up.
From the dawn of humankind, we have turned to the sky in celebration of the heavens above. Inquisitive minds sought knowledge of all kinds from the movement of the various objects they observed. Early people saw gods and later developed beliefs that one’s actions were under the sway of celestial patterns and cycles. Later, scientists would discover immutable laws governing our universe and came to the conclusion that newly defined rules of physics and celestial mechanics were at play in the change of seasons and the movements of the tides. And just 50 years ago this past July, we took our first steps on the surface of our own nearby moon. In 50 more years, who knows what discoveries we will make…
That sense of wonder and discovery is within your reach on the High Line each Tuesday at dusk. From April through October, you can come to the High Line where the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will be on hand to guide you in your exploration of our galaxy. The evening is free and requires no RSVP. Simply show up when the sun goes down and prepare to see true wonders: Saturn’s rings, the stormy eye of Jupiter, or even an assortment of comets making their way through our solar system on their travels through distant space. In the process, you’ll discover facts about space and its effects on our own terrestrial existence. You’ll also learn how to spot common constellations in the night sky, find planets and learn the best times to see them with the naked eye, and get tips on how to make the most of your own stargazing — with or without a telescope. Come early or late, for what’s visible can change depending upon the time of evening and weather conditions.
Use the rest of your night to enjoy the many pleasures of the High Line. Bring along someone special, and look skyward together, picking out celestial bodies that you were taught to spot earlier in the night. If clouds block the view, the High Line and its gardens are more than just a consolation: They are their own prize. Flowers and various plants bloom and grow in orchestrated plots throughout the season, offering a glimpse of flora native to Manhattan and the region. Or, you may stumble upon a summer or fall festival, a talk, or other events focused on music, the written word, or visual art. The High Line is more than a park, and no matter when or how you explore it, there’s always something new to see and discover.
With close proximity to the 555TEN luxury rentals, the High Line is a wondrous vantage point from which to take in the night sky. Mark your calendar for a few Tuesday evenings this summer and fall, and come at dusk to renew your fascination with the worlds beyond our own. And come prepared to enjoy the rest of the High Line as you meander among the gardens and installations of one of NYC’s most remarkable public spaces.