What is Manhattanhenge and Where Is the Best Place to See It?

The Instagram-worthy phenomenon is happening Tuesday and Wednesday

<p>Mike Pont/Getty</p> Manhattanhenge 2018 in New York City

Mike Pont/Getty

Manhattanhenge 2018 in New York City

Manhattanhenge 2024 is nearly upon us and if you want to know everything about the phenomenon, when it is and where the best place to view it, read on.

What is Manhattanhenge?

According to the American Museum of Natural History, the spectacle occurs when the "setting sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid."

The phenomenon takes place twice a year and is a favorite of amateur and professional photographers alike.

When is Manhattanhenge?

Manhattanhenge falls at sunset on Tuesday, May 28 at 8:13 p.m. ET and Wednesday, May 29 at 8:12 p.m. ET.

Tuesday is a half-sun day, whereas Wednesday is a full-sun day.

Per the AMNH, on a half-sun day (Tuesday), half the disk sits above and half below the horizon (see photo above). On a full-sun day, viewers instead will find the entire ball of the Sun on the horizon.

If you miss out, you won't have to wait long.

The next half-sun day is Saturday, July 13 at 8:21 p.m. ET and the next full-sun day is Friday, July 12 at 8:20 p.m. ET.

<p>Gary Hershorn/Getty</p> The reverse Manhattanhenge sunrise occurred on Jan. 12, 2024

Gary Hershorn/Getty

The reverse Manhattanhenge sunrise occurred on Jan. 12, 2024

Where's the best place to see Manhattanhenge?

The sunset can be viewed from Manhattan's main east/west thoroughfares:

  • 14th Street

  • 23rd Street

  • 34th Street

  • 42nd Street

  • 57th Street

The Museum also recommends viewing at the Tudor City Overpass and Manhattan Hunter's Point South Park in Long Island City, Queens.

Related: Spectacular Lunar Rainbows, Also Known as Moonbows, Spotted at Yosemite Falls — See the Video!

How do you take the best Manhattanhenge photo?

If you want an Instagram-worthy shot, ABC7 New York has the following recommendations: Make sure your settings are ready for the low-light conditions. Pick a high aperture setting such as F/16 and ensure your ISO is the lowest possible for your camera.

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What are the Manhattanhenge hashtags?

Unsurprisingly, #manhattanhenge will pull up beautiful shots, but try hashtags #sunset and #nycsunset as well.

Why is it called Manhattanhenge?

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term in a 1997 article in the magazine Natural History, per the Associated Press. Tyson, the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Natural History who has made cameos on shows like The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons, visited Stonehedge as a teen.

The native New York noted that the sun being framed by Manhattan's skyscrapers was akin to the sun striking the center of the prehistoric rock U.K. rock formation during the solstice, henge the amalgam Manhattanhenge.

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