Manhattanhenge Views and Explanations

Manhattanhenge Views and Explanations

July 11, 2012 at 4:00 am

Manhattanhenge, also known as the Manhattan Solstice, touches down for its  second and last occurrences of the year on July 11 and 12, roughly 25 minutes past 8 p.m.

The bi-yearly phenomenon usually occurs around May 28 and July 12 and was observed last on May 29 and 30 . As the sun sets on these days, it will perfectly align on Manhattan’s numbered East-West street grid, bathing the cross streets in light as the city serves as the picture-perfect frame for the golden planet. To make the most of this rare happening, Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, advises to arrive at your spot 30 minutes before the sun’s touchdown.

Click Image for Slideshow of Past Manhattanhenges

May 26, 2012, DUMBO, BrooklynJuly 13, 2011, Midtown ManhattanJuly 13, 2011, Gantry Plaza State ParkJuly 12, 2011, Pulaski BridgeJuly 12, 2011, East 42nd StreetMay 31, 2011, Midtown ManhattanMay 31, 2011, Times SquareMay 31, 2011, East Side ManhattanMay 28, 2010, East 42nd StreetJune 6, 2007, Union Square



Get your camera ready for some beautiful cityscapes, then learn about what you’ve witnessed through the lens of urban history and science at two programs hosted by the city’s museums.

American Museum of National History

Wednesday, July 11, 7 p.m.; $15 for general public and $13.50 for members

Join astrophysicst Jackie Faherty at Hayden Planetarium to learn the history and simple astronomy behind Manhattanhenge. After the presentation, the event moves outside the museum for a live viewing of the happening.

Museum of the City of New York

Thursday, July 12, 5 p.m.; $12 for non-members, $8 for seniors and students, and $6 for members

The Museum of the City of New York celebrates Manhattanhenge with “A Celestial Angle on the Greatest Grid,” an event to also honor the master plan of Manhattan’s grid system. After talks by Hilary Balloon, the curator of the museum’s blockbuster extended exhibition, The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011, and by Matt Knutzen, geospatial librarian at the New York Public Library, sound off yourself at the open mic for grid-talk. There will be time to view the exhibition, which closes on July 15.