Skip to main content

Manhattanhenge Sends Cosmic Rays Across New York City Grid

Manhattanhenge 2015 is this weekend, bracketing the summer solstice in May and July with the sun shining straight across the NYC grid.

It’s time for Manhattanhenge once again, the Stonehenge-like phenomena in which the setting sun shines down the major cross streets of New York City’s main island.

Coined by physicist and astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, the phenomenon attracts more viewers every year. On the planetarium’s website, deGrasse Tyson wonders what future civilizations will think when they dig up the apparently aligned building grid of Manhattan. Does it imbue astronomical significance?

“What it really means though, is that there will be groups of people standing in the middle of the street this evening trying to capture the perfect shot to Instagram,” notes Gothamist.

Tyson advises arriving half an hour earlier than the start time, which is Friday, May 29 8:12 P.M. EDT for the half-sun on the grid, and Saturday, May 30 8:12 P.M. EDT for the full-sun visage.

“For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible,” deGrasse Tyson says on the Hayden Planetarium website. “But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey. Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th. 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them. The Empire State building and the Chrysler building render 34th street and 42nd streets especially striking vistas.”

RELATED: 'Manhattanhenge' Sends Golden Rays Shooting Across Lenape Territory

Manhattanhenge on the Half-Grid Obscured, Full Sun Version Has Hope

See deGrasse Tyson talk about Manhattanhenge below.