What exactly is Manhattanhenge?
It’s a twice-yearly event during which the setting sun is aligned with the east-west streets of the main street grids in Manhattan.
This perfectly-aligned event creates a solar display precisely framed by concrete buildings and steel skyscrapers. The view is rather spectacular!
We New Yorkers love to celebrate unusual happenings and Manhattanhenge definitely qualifies!
And guess what, folks? It’s happening tonight!
Where the term originated
The term “Manhattanhenge” was popularized by everyone’s favorite astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
He likens it to Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England. It was constructed so that the rising sun, seen from the center of the monument at the time of the summer solstice, aligns with the outer heel stone, sitting outside the Stonehenge entrance. It is considered a holy event.
Where to see it best
For the best view, head east, friends, and look west. Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th, 57th and several streets adjacent to them.
You have to be in the middle of the street to get the full effect, so please be careful!
FYI, the second go-round for Manhattanhenge is expected July 12th and 13th.
Image via Shmuel/Flickr