EXPLAINER: When is Manhattanhenge? Where can you see it?


NEW YORK (AP) — Didn’t make it to Stonehenge for the solstice? There’s nonetheless time to catch Manhattanhenge, when the setting solar aligns with the Manhattan road grid and bathes the city canyons in a rosy glow.

The final two Manhattanhenge sunsets of 2022 are Monday and Tuesday. Some background on the phenomenon:


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the time period in a 1997 article within the journal Pure Historical past. Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Pure Historical past, has mentioned that he was impressed by a go to to Stonehenge as a youngster.

The long run host of TV exhibits like PBS’ “Nova ScienceNow” was a part of an expedition led by Gerald Hawkins, the scientist who first theorized that Stonehenge’s mysterious megaliths had been an historical astronomical observatory.

It struck Tyson, a local New Yorker, that the setting solar framed by Manhattan’s highrises may very well be in comparison with the solar’s rays hanging the middle of the Stonehenge circle on the solstice.

Not like the Neolithic Stonehenge builders, the planners who laid out Manhattan didn’t imply to channel the solar. It simply labored out that manner.


Manhattanhenge doesn’t happen on the summer season solstice itself, which was June 21 this 12 months. As an alternative, it occurs about three weeks earlier than the solstice and once more about three weeks after. That’s when the solar aligns itself completely with the Manhattan grid’s east-west streets.

For 2022, peak Manhattanhenge occurred at 8:12 p.m. Might 30 and takes place once more at 8:20 p.m. Monday. That’s when the complete solar seems to hover between buildings simply earlier than sinking into the Hudson River.

On the times earlier than and after — Might 29 and July 12 this 12 months — the highest half of the solar’s disk sits above the horizon and the highest half is beneath on the exact second of alignment.


The standard viewing spots are alongside the town’s broad east-west thoroughfares: 14th Road, twenty third Road, thirty fourth Road, forty second Road and 57th Road. The farther east you go, the extra dramatic the vista as solar’s rays hit constructing facades on both aspect. It is usually doable to see Manhattanhenge throughout the East River within the Lengthy Island Metropolis part of Queens.


Manhattanhenge viewing events usually are not unknown. The beverage firm San Pellegrino hosted an “unique Manhattanhenge celebration” on a bridge spanning East 42th Road in 2018.

However Manhattanhenge is usually a DIY affair. Folks collect on east-west streets a half an hour or so earlier than sundown and snap photograph after photograph as nightfall approaches. That’s if the climate is ok. There’s no seen Manhattanhenge on wet or cloudy days.


Comparable results happen in different cities with uniform road grids. Chicagohenge and Baltimorehenge occur when the setting solar strains up with the grid programs in these cities throughout March and September, across the spring and fall equinoxes. Torontohenge happens round Feb. 16 and Oct. 25.

However Manhattanhenge is especially hanging due to the peak of the buildings and the unobstructed path to the Hudson.


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