Manhattanhenge is when the sun sets directly through the center of Manhattan cross streets, lighting both the north and south sides.
Manhattanhenge is just four times a year, when the sun is directly in line with the Manhattan street grid. It happens twice in the end of May, and twice in mid-July.
Manhattanhenge is a play on words for Stonehenge. It’s fascinating to see and photograph, whether you are using a camera phone or serious camera gear with a long lens and a tripod.
The Hayden Planetarium’s Neil deGrasse Tyson, who coined the word, calls it a unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the universe.
Manhattanhenge starts at just after 8PM, when the sun appears on the western edge of east-west numbered NYC streets, washing the space between the two sides of the street in a golden orange light until the actual sunset.
Let’s hope for sunny and clear, not cloudy or rainy.
Dates for Manhattanhenge 2019
Wednesday, May 29th at 8:13pm, you will see a “half sun”.
The next day, Thursday, May 30th at 8:12pm, you will see a “full sun,” with the entire solar ball of the sun above the horizon.
Additionally, if you miss out in May, you’ll get a second chance in July.
July 11th will be a “full sun” date at approximately 8:20pm.
On the second date, July 12th, viewers can see the “half sun” Manhattanhenge at 8:21 p.m. EDT.
Click here for the best places to see Manhattanhenge
Manhattanhenge is one of the 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die, included in the new NYC guidebook by NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter.
Available now in bookstores and online.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for autographed copies.
Also again this year, the American Museum of Natural History has several special Manhattanhenge programs at the Hayden Planetarium.
On July 12, the Hayden Planetarium will also be hosting a public program highlighting the history and astronomy of this spectacle. We’ll share details closer to the event.
BTW – 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.
Let’s hope for picture postcard weather, instead of cloudy or rainy.
photo courtesy Technology Weekly
This posting about Manhattanhenge has been published annually since 2014 and is updated annually.