New Yorkers only get to witness Manhattanhenge — the rare moment when the setting sun aligns with the grid of NYC streets — four nights a year.
Last night…was not one of those nights. But that didn’t stop Instagrammers from posting photos of the phenomenon; about 145 photos were added with the #Manhattanhenge tag Tuesday night.
The term Manhattanhenge, a reference to Stonehenge’s alignment with the sun set each summer solstice, was coined in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The American Museum of Natural History makes clear that Manhattanhenge 2015 occurred on the evenings of May 29th and 30th, and will occur again on the evenings of July 12th and July 13th.
If you didn’t know the exact date, it’s not all that surprising that people would think Manhattanhenge was happening when it wasn’t. In the weeks before and after the actual dates of Manhattanhenge, Earth’s rotation on its axis is only slightly different from day to day.
That means there can be lots of faux Manhattenhenges, and lots of photographers who think they’re catching a rare moment in time on their iPhones.
This is a photo of people taking photographs of the faux Manhattanhenge. It was taken next to Union Square Park on 14th Street.
While the photos are stunning, the science is clear.
New Yorkers will have to wait until July 12th for their Instagram feeds to explode with photos from a real Manhattanhenge.