Manhattanites and visitors will have the rare opportunity this evening to take in the beautiful sunset for about four to five minutes when it will align with the Manhattan city grid at precisely 8:16 p.m. Wednesday.
The rare phenomenon, as we’ve previously reported, was derived from Stonehenge, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices. Manhattanhenge happens twice a year, when the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s main street grid above 14th Street.
The New York event has become famous in recent years and become one of the most romantic events of the year with folks flocking to the streets in the evening for the chance to take in the beautiful display as well as take advantage of the great photo op.
For those heading into Manhattan to catch Manhattanhenge, according to the Hayden Planetarium, the best views are from the eastern side of Manhattan (looking toward New Jersey) from cross-streets including 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th. Hayden Planetarium also mentions that great photo backdrops include The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building at 34th and 42nd.
If you miss the event May 30, you can catch the phenomenon again July 11 at 8:24 p.m. and Thursday, July 12, at 8:25 p.m., during which half of the setting Sun can be seen from the grid.
For those interested in the phenomenon, the American Museum of Natural History is hosting a Manhattanhenge program in the Hayden Planetarium about the astronomy behind this event July 11 followed by a viewing and photo op.