Manhattanhenge 2024: NYC’s stunning sunset returns

May 23, 2024

Photo by John Gillespie on Flickr cc

New York City’s most photographed sunset is back. Manhattanhenge, the cosmic phenomenon when the sun aligns perfectly with the Manhattan street grid and creates a magical, glowing spectacle among skyscrapers, takes place twice every year. This year, a full sun will be visible on the grid on May 29 and July 12, and a half sun seen on May 28 and July 13.

Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

Created by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Manhattanhenge is a play on “Stonehenge,” the prehistoric circle of stone in England built to align with the sun’s movement. The grid of Manhattan doesn’t run perfectly north-south and east-west because everything is rotated roughly 29 degrees clockwise.

During the summer solstice, the sun sets about 32 degrees north of true west. A few weeks before and after the solstice, the sun sets at the same angle as Manhattan’s grid, 29 degrees north of true west.

“As a kid, I visited Stonehenge, I was very impressed with the fact that ancient peoples made these vertical stone monuments and Stonehenge itself is actually an observatory,” Tyson said in a 2018 interview. “And no one knew that until an astronomer figured that out.”

For the best views of Manhattanhenge, head to Manhattan cross streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th Streets. The American Museum of Natural History recommends a spot as far east as possible that “still has views of New Jersey across the Hudson River.” The Tudor City Overpass and Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City would also be great viewing spots.

The 2024 Manhattanhenge dates and times are as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 28, 8:13 p.m. (half-sun)
  • Wednesday, May 29, 8:12 p.m. (full sun)
  • Saturday, July 13, 8:21 p.m. (half-sun)
  • Friday, July 12, 8:20 p.m. (full sun)


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