What is Manhattanhenge?

Manhattanhenge, sometimes also referred to as Manhattan Solstice, is biannual natural event, wherein the sunset can be clearly visible from the east-west street of Manhattan’s grid in New York City. This could be said to be an urban version of Stonehenge, wherein the sun aligns itself with the stones of solstices. This term was initially derived by Neil Tyson in the year 2002. He is an astropsysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, and the director of Hayden Planetarium.

It is, according to Tyson, a unique and remarkable urban phenomenon of the world. And it seems that the photographers to believe so, as majority of the city’s photographers gather on this street to capture this unique phenomenon. The sight of the sun setting between the tall edifices, into the street is the most astonishing sight of the event, which last only for about 15 minutes before the sun disappears.

If you are a resident of New York, or are planning to visit this city during Manhattanhenge, it is important to be present at the right location to get the best view. It is believed that 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th cross streets in Manhattan are among the very few streets that get the perfect view of the phenomenon.

However, this doesn’t mean that the people travelling on the north-south streets would not get a glimpse of this marvelous sunset. They will certainly get a glimpse, but on the windows of the tall edifices that are aligned with the grid.

The event has gained popularity in the recent years and Manhattanhenge 2011 is believed to attract more crowd than that witnessed in 2010. The dates are usually May 28 and July 13 every year. However, the dates of Manhattanhenge may vary.

A similar view, of the sunrise this time, xan be observed on the dates of December 5 and January 8. Again, the dates are not fixed, and may vary from year to year. However, it wouldn’t be very far from the aforementioned dates.

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