The strange and wonderful phenomenon of Manhattanhenge is upon us again. These are the only two days of the year when the sun sets in perfect alignment with the the Manhattan street grid, so you can see it setting between the buildings when looking west.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History and host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Oddessey, coined the term Manhattanhenge as a play on Stonehenge for when the sun lines up with the ancient circle of vertical rocks on the summer solstice.
This year, the sun will set on the grid with half the disk above the horizon and half below on Thursday, May 29 at 8:16 p.m. EDT. If you miss this one, or weather conditions are poor, the phenomenon will happen again on Saturday, July 12 at 8:25 p.m. EDT.
“For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible,” the American Museum of Natural History suggests on its website. “But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey. Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th. 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them. The Empire State building and the Chrysler building render 34th street and 42nd streets especially striking vistas.”
It’s recommended that observers arrive 30 minutes before the sun sets on the grid.
Plan on watching Manhattanhenge? If you snap good photos, email your pictures to [email protected] and we’ll publish them here.
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