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, twice in the end of May and twice in mid-July, when the sun is directly in line with the Manhattan street grid, twice in the end of May and twice in mid-July.
Manhattanhenge is a play on words for Stonehenge. And it’s fascinating to see, with or without a camera and tripod. The Hayden Planetarium’s Neil deGrasse Tyson 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.
Here are the dates for Manhattanhenge 2017:
May 29, 2017 (8.13pm): Half Sun on the grid
May 30, 2017 (8.12pm): Full Sun on the grid
July 12, 2017 (8.20pm): Full Sun on the grid
July 13, 2017 (8.21pm): Half Sun on the grid
Click here for the best places to see Manhattanhenge
Again this year, the American Museum of Natural History has special Manhattanhenge programs at the Hayden Planetarium.
On May 30, the Hayden Planetarium id 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. Tickets are $15, $13.50 for for seniors and students.
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