If you’re planning a trip to New York this Spring / Summer, make sure that your dates correspond with this year’s Manhattanhenge (aka Manhattan Solstice): the 28th of May and 12th of July! Watch nature take over New York with its spectacular show and give Broadway a run for its money (ugh, humans)!
On these two dates, the setting sun will align with the East-West streets of Manhattan, creating a spectacular light show that plays off of the iron and glass buildings of “the city that never sleeps.” Entrance is free (you just need a plane ride into the city 😉 and they accept people of all ages – even infants! You should bring sunglasses, though, and don’t look directly at the sun… The future is bright!
Manhattanhenge: What it is
Manhattanhenge (like Stonehenge) is an event that happens only twice a year, when the sun aligns with the Manhattan street grid (at about 299 degrees from vertical).
During Manhattanhenge, an observer can see the sunset perfectly and centrally looking west from any street on the Manhattan grid. Due to the earth’s position relative to the sun, Manhattanhenge usually occurs around May 28 and July 12 – spaced evenly around the summer solstice. A corresponding aligned sunrise also occurs on approximately December 5 and January 8.
Many people will notice the event while it is happening, simply due to a particularly strong amount of glare coming through from the west side of the island. However, Manhattanhenge has been celebrated officially by photographers, sightseers and more since 2002. The picture above is a perfect example of what you might see, although of course it would be much more interesting in person.
Manhattanhenge: How To Experience It
The exact times that Manhattanhenge took place in 2013 were July 12, 2013 at 8:23 p.m., and July 13, 2013 at 8:24 p.m. For 2014’s dates, If you plan to be in the city, make sure to keep open May 28, 29, 30
& July 11, 12, 13.