A stunning celestial occurrence is about to hit New York: Manhattanhenge. Every spring and summer, the sunset perfectly alines with the streets of Manhattan to create a breathtaking scene. As the sun lowers, the busy city is bathed in a beautiful glow. Professional photographers and rookie Instagrammers alike just can’t help but reach for their camera in the light of this scene.
When is Manhattanhenge 2018?
Clouds or rain tend to mask the beautiful sight, but if weather cooperates you can view Manhattanhenge on Tuesday, May 29 at 8:13 p.m. (EDT) and Wednesday, May 30 at 8:12 p.m. (EDT). The Summer occurrence is set for Thursday, July 12 at 8:20 p.m. and Friday, July 13 at 8:21 p.m.
Why is it called Manhattanhenge?
The name is inspired by the Stonehenge monument in England, which historians believe prehistoric people used in various solar rituals. The stone slabs perfectly frame the rising sun during the Summer Solstice. Manhattan’s streets were built on a grid over 200 years ago with avenues that line up with the cardinal directions. Though they likely didn’t have Manhattanhenge in mind, the city plan set the perfect stage for its occurrence.
Where can I watch Manhattanhenge?
The best place to view Manhattanhenge is anywhere that points towards New Jersey. The most picturesque views are along wide streets with lovely architecture. You’ll need to be crossing the street to get a clear sighting, but don’t get caught up in the moment and forget about safety. 42nd, 57th, 34th, 23rd and 14th Streets are popular spots for the casual observer hoping to catch a glimpse or a quick snap. The Tudor City overpass is a favorite place for many professional photographers, but you’ll have to get there early if you want a spot. Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens is also an option outside the borough.
What if I can’t get to Manhattan?
There’s sure to be a lot of photos available of Manhattanhenge if you can’t make it to the city, but you also might be able to view a ‘henge in a city close to you. Any city that is built on an east-west grid is likely to have the same phenomenon. Chicago, Philidelphia, Boston, and Toronto, for example, all have their own ‘henges.