New Yorkers and tourists alike spending their Memorial Day in the Big Apple on Monday will be treated to a city-stopping spectacle: Manhattanhenge.
Manhattanhenge, a portmanteau of “Manhattan” and “Stonehenge,” is a twice-a-year solar event, when the sunset lines up directly with the city’s grid, casting golden rays down city streets. Several of the stones in Stonehenge experience perfect alignment with the sun during summer and winter solstice, which is why the event takes its name from the rock formation.
A Manhattanhenge sunset can bring the borough to a standstill as city dwellers and their visitors clamor for a glimpse — and maybe a snapshot — of the city bathed in golden light.
This year’s Manhattanhenge dates correspond with both Memorial Day and Major League Baseball’s All-Star break, according to the American Museum of Natural History.
“For these two days, as the Sun sets on the grid, half the disk sits above and half below the horizon. My personal preference for photographs. But the day after also offers Manhattanhenge moments, but at sunset, you instead will find the entire ball of the Sun on the horizon,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, explained in a post on the museum’s website.
Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the half-sun Manhattanhenge can do so at 8:13 p.m. ET on Monday and again on Thursday, July 13 at 8:21 p.m. ET.
The full sun effect can be viewed on Tuesday at 8:12 p.m. ET and again on Wednesday, July 12 at 8:20 p.m. ET.
The museum recommends watching the event on the east-west thoroughfares of Manhattan’s 14th Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street, or 57th Street.