Manhattanhenge: The Solstice Of New York

Manhattanhenge is an amazing phenomenon which occurs when the Sun aligns with several streets forming the main street grid of Manhattan, the borough of New York City, on dates approximately close to the summer and winter solstices. The exact date of Manhattanhenge varies from year to year and depends on the dates of the solstices.

Manhattanhenge takes place four times a year: in December and January the rising Sun aligns with the streets of New York City, while in May and July the phenomenon happens during sunset.

In July this breathtaking astronomical event normally lasts two evenings: one day you can see the Sun in full between skyscrapers when it’s close to setting. The other day only the half of the Sun appears aligning with the streets of the city.

The name of the event is a reference to Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument located in South West England. It was built so that the rising Sun at the moment of the summer solstice aligns with the stones constituting the famous cromlech.

On July 11, 2020, at 20:20 EDT the “Full Sun” will be visible between buildings, and on July 12, 2020, at 20:21 EDT the “Half Sun” will appear. The best spots to witness Manhattanhenge in its full beauty are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th Streets.

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