You’ve heard of Stonehenge, but have you heard of Manhattanhenge? Four times a year, the rising and/or setting sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s skyline and peeks it’s way all the way through from side to side. For a city so steeped in high-rise buildings it’s really quite impressive that the sun has managed to maneuver itself like this!
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You’ll see hundreds (if not thousands) of people in the morning or evening standing in the middle of streets ignoring oncoming traffic with their phones held high to snap a picture of the incoming alignment.
It’s a fun little ceremony that happens twice a year and you’ll no doubt enjoy being a part of it (especially if you have people visiting from out of the city, and at least it’s rarer than bumping into Spiderman in Times Square).
Manhattanhenge Dates for 2022
- Sunday, May 29, a half sun at 8:13 p.m. Eastern time.
- Monday, May 30, a full sun at 8:12 p.m.
- Monday, July 11, a full sun at 8:20 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 12, a half sun at 8:21 p.m.
The best place to see Manhattanhenge
According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, the best cross streets are 14th, 34th, 42nd, 57th and 79th Streets, as they’re wide blocks with interesting buildings for framing your photos.
A few FAQs about Manhattanhenge
The term “Manhattanhenge” was popularized by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and a native New Yorker. It is a reference to Stonehenge, which was constructed so that the rising sun, seen from the center of the monument at the time of the summer solstice, aligns with the outer “Heel Stone”. (from the Wikipedia entry)
Twice during the Summer Solstice and twice during the Winter Solstice, so, four times a year.
Because it’s cool. Yep, even you can be a tourist for a few minutes.
For 2022, the next two Manhattanhenges are on Monday, July 11, a full sun at 8:20 p.m., and Tuesday, July 12, a half sun at 8:21 p.m.
Just like an eclipse, no, don’t look at the sun. Seriously. It’s still the sun, even though it’s whispering “Hellooooo” between the buildings.