Manhattanhenge, the unique celestial event in which the sun lines up perfectly with the grid of Manhattan, will make its 2015 debut this weekend, one of only four times this year that such an alignment will be visible.
The Manhattanhenge phenomenon, which was first noticed and named by Neil deGrasse Tyson, is an unusual occurrence which highlights the fact that the Sun does not set in the same spot on the horizon each day. As the Gothamist relates, the event is considered Manhattan’s equivalent of Stonehenge, and when it takes place, both the north and south sides off all of the borough’s cross streets are fully illuminated. Manhattanhenge occurs twice a year with a full sun, and twice with a half sun.
This weekend, the first occurrences of Manhattanhenge will be at 8:12 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as the Huffington Post reports. Friday will see a half sun, while Saturday will represent a full sun Manhattanhenge. The phenomenon will not repeat until July 12 and 13, after which it will not occur again during 2015.
— Jeff Faria (@PatriotsOfMars) May 28, 2015
For New Yorkers who wish to take in the best view of this year’s Manhattanhenge, there are a few spots where the phenomenon can be observed better than others. NBC New York suggests going “as far east in Manhattan as you can without losing view of New Jersey” in order to best view Manhattanhenge, specifically recommending cross streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th.
Excellent views of Manhattanhenge can also be had from the other side of the East River, in Long Island City. The nonprofit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy will host LICHenge at Hunters Point South Park on Thursday, offering a view of Manhattanhenge that aligns perfectly with 42nd street.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) May 28, 2015
— Kenneth Hines, Jr. (@professorhines) May 28, 2015
Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets for the 2015 edition of Manhattanhenge, as they have in previous years. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the first night of Manhattanhenge 2012 was foiled by rain, though subsequent viewings drew large crowds.
deGrasse Tyson has also pointed out that 34th and 42nd street represent “especially striking vistas” during Manhattanhenge, due to the presence of the Empire State building and the Chrysler building. It is also recommended that viewers get out 30 minutes early to observe the event, meaning Manhattanhenge 2015 is guaranteed to bring large crowds into the streets in search of the perfect picture.
[Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images]