Manhattanhenge on 42nd street

Photo: Greg Chow

Manhattan solstice

New York City is rarely the site of stunning astronomical wonders, but twice a year residents and tourists are treated to a special solar event: During Manhattanhenge, the sun sets perfectly along the city's east-west street grid.

The term "Manhattanhenge" was coined in 2002 by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in reference to England's Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument known for its mysterious origins and dramatic solstice alignments.

Ever since Tyson brought mainstream attention to Manhattanhenge, hundreds of New Yorkers have established a tradition of gathering along 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets to witness the stunning skyscraper-framed sunset. This year, the event is expected to be occur on Friday, May 29 at 8:12 p.m. The popularity of the event has spiked in recent years, so observers are encouraged to show up early to secure a good view.

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