Four nights a year, the streets of Manhattan’s grid become the site for a stunning sunset phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge. During Manhattanhenge, the Sun sets in perfect alignment with Manhattan’s East-West numbered streets, creating cinema-worthy photo opportunities. This summer, the full Sun will be visible on the grid on Tuesday, May 30, at 8:12 pm, and on Wednesday, July 12, at 8:20 pm. The half Sun will be visible on Monday, May 29, at 8:13 pm, and on Thursday, July 13, at 8:21 pm. Prime locations to view the phenomenon are large cross streets such as 14th, 34th, 42nd, 57th, and 79th. For optimal viewing at these locations, participants should arrive a half-hour earlier than the times given.
On May 30, the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium will also be hosting a public program highlighting the history and astronomy of this spectacle. Starting at 7 pm, Jackie Faherty, a research associate in the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, will give a special presentation followed by a viewing of the event at 79th Street.
The term “Manhattanhenge” was coined by Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, as a play on Stonehenge, where the Sun aligns with the stones on the sunrise of the summer solstice with a similarly dramatic effect.
MONDAY, MAY 29, AT 8:13 PM EDT (HALF SUN)
TUESDAY, MAY 30, AT 8:12 PM EDT (FULL SUN)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, AT 8:20 PM EDT (FULL SUN)
THURSDAY, JULY 13, AT 8:21 PM EDT (HALF SUN)
Photo: Sunset looking down 34th Street. One of two days when the sunset is exactly aligned with the grid of streets in Manhattan. Copyright © 2001, Neil deGrasse Tyson