New York City is always photogenic this time of year, but Sunday night’s sunset is poised to be an Instagram-worthy moment you can’t afford to miss.
For one night only (OK, it happens twice a year, but still) Manhattan’s grid structure will do more than help us not get lost– it will shower us in golden light thanks to a phenomenon called Manhattanhenge.
Just after 8 p.m., moments before it sets, the sun will align perfectly with Manhattan’s streets while half the disk sits above the horizon and half sits below, Neil deGrasse Tyson of the Hayden Planetarium explains, “simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street.”
For a prime view, head to the east side of Manhattan, deGrasse Tyson says, ideally at 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd or 57th Streets by 8:20 p.m.
In case you miss it, there will be another striking sunset Monday, with the entire sun appearing on the grid instead of half, as pictured above. That will be your last chance for a Manhattanhenge this year. See photos of the last one at amny.com.
While Stonehenge, the famous site in England that Manhattanhenge was named after, experiences this each year on summer solstice, deGrasse Tyson points out that in New York its occurences line up with Memorial Day and the MLB All Star break. “Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped war and baseball,” he writes.