Here's the Best Way to See New York's Manhattanhenge Sunset
New Yorkers are going to see a lot of people stopping to take pictures of the horizon in the coming days. Manhattanhenge, a term coined by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to describe the two days of the year when the Sun sets in perfect alignment with Manhattan’s east-west street grid, will be visible at 8:13 p.m. on Memorial Day May 29 (half-sun, the preferred view for photographers) and 8:12 p.m. May 30 (full sun). Here’s a sample of what you can expect to see.
Speaking with Fast Company about Manhattanhenge, Tyson said that he was walking through Central Park and noticed the buildings towering over it. Recalling a field trip he took at 15 years old to stone monuments in the British Isles similar to Stonehenge, he thought there might be a time sunsets could appear at top of the city's skyscrapers and create a scenario similar to Stonehenge’s summer solstice. He stood in the middle of the street as cars zoomed around him and took a photo—and ignited an annual celebration in the process.
The American Museum of Natural History advises to stand as far east as you can and look west toward New Jersey. Cross streets that offer an ideal view include 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, and 79th.
Can’t make it to New York this weekend? Manhattanhenge will make another appearance on July 12 and July 13. If you want to know more about the phenomenon, the Museum will be hosting a presentation at Hayden Planetarium at 7 p.m. on May 30.