More than 100 people gathered at an MIT building just before 4:20 p.m. today, when enthusiasts had predicted the sun would align with the 825-foot hallway in the building known as the Infinite Corridor, in a phenomenon that has been dubbed “MIThenge.”
The sun did not disappoint.
At approximately 4:20, a blaze of orange shone through the window at the end of the long corridor. The crowd, which included students and others, snapped pictures and oohed and ahhed.MIT freshman Micah Madison, 18, said, “It was just so gorgeous. I’m actually going to text a picture to my mom.”
The event has developed a cult-like following. Alan Eliasen, an amateur astronomer, had predicted the cosmic event would happen today, when the sun was likely to be at an optimal altitude above horizon obstructions and below the upper limits imposed by doors and ceilings in the corridor.
But Keith Winstein, a graduate student who has been interested in the phenomenon since his freshman year at the university, said it seemed like the sun was slightly high, meaning that today was a near-miss and the sun might make a more direct hit on Saturday.
The event, which occurs a couple of times a year, seemed to have an added portentousness this year because it was occurring on 11/11/11.
Students and professors at the school have been captivated by MIThenge for years, boston.com reported Thursday.