MANHATTAN (WPIX) — Get your camera ready because Manhattanhenge is making a comeback this week.
Viewers can head to specific cross-streets in Manhattan to catch the sunset align with New York City’s street grid. Monday’s will feature a full sun, while there will be a half-sun Manhattanhenge on Tuesday.
The best streets to view Manhattanhenge in Manhattan are 14th Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street and 57th Street, according to the American Museum of Natural History.
Manhattanhenge can also be viewed from the Tudor City Overpass in Manhattan and Hunter’s Point South Park in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.
WHERE DOES THE NAME MANHATTANHENGE COME FROM?
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term in a 1997 article in the magazine Natural History. Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, has said that he was inspired by a visit to Stonehenge as a teenager.
The future host of TV shows like PBS’ “Nova ScienceNow” was part of an expedition led by Gerald Hawkins, the scientist who first theorized that Stonehenge’s mysterious megaliths were an ancient astronomical observatory.
It struck Tyson, a native New Yorker, that the setting sun framed by Manhattan’s highrises could be compared to the sun’s rays striking the center of the Stonehenge circle on the solstice.
WHEN IS MANHATTANHENGE?
Manhattanhenge does not take place on the summer solstice itself, which was June 21 this year. Instead, it happens about three weeks before the solstice and again about three weeks after. That’s when the sun aligns itself perfectly with the Manhattan grid’s east-west streets.
For 2022, peak Manhattanhenge occurred at 8:12 p.m. May 30 and takes place again at 8:20 p.m. Monday. That’s when the full sun appears to hover between buildings just before sinking into the Hudson River.
On the days before and after — May 29 and July 12 this year — the top half of the sun’s disk sits above the horizon and the top half is below at the precise moment of alignment.
DO OTHER CITIES HAVE ‘HENGES’?
Similar effects occur in other cities with uniform street grids. Chicagohenge and Baltimorehenge happen when the setting sun lines up with the grid systems in those cities during March and September, around the spring and fall equinoxes. Torontohenge occurs around Feb. 16 and Oct. 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.