Four times a year, to the delight of NYC shutterbugs, (so every resident with a smartphone and a photo filter app) the sinking evening sun aligns perfectly with the east-west grid of Manhattan. This summer, the illustrious vision came into view on May 29 at 8.16 pm and May 30 at 8:18 pm. On July 12 at 8:25 pm and July 13 at 8:24 pm another opulent glimpse of the perfectly aligned sun with our fair city’s streets will occur again. Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, Neil deGrasse Tyson, coined the term Manhattanhenge. Here’s what astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson had to say about the compelling event.
“The sun does not set in the same place on the horizon each day. In fact, when people recite that the sun ‘rises in the east and sets in the west,’ that’s only true for two days per year—the spring and fall equinoxes. In principle, any city with a rectangular street grid would have a ‘henge’ but not all grids extend to the horizon. Some hit forests or mountains. Others curve or bend, preventing the phenomenon from occurring. Manhattan’s clear view to New Jersey—across the Hudson to the Palisades—makes an ideal setup for stunning sunsets.”
For your enjoyment we have compiled our favorite photos taken during the striking phenomenon of a majestically aligned sunset, known as Manhattanhenge and of course photos of a truly picturesque sunset.