It is the most photographed sunset in New York, with hues between orange and red prominent in the skyline of skyscrapers and for which hundreds of people gather to immortalize. These buildings are painted incandescent red in this crowd-drawing event: Manhattanhenge.
There are many constructions that produce phenomena with light, an example being what happens with the pyramid of Chichen Itza, in Yucatan, Mexico, where thousands of people gather year after year to watch the descent of Kukulcan (the Feathered Serpent). are gathered, a phenomenon in which shadows give the illusion when the clock shows the exact time.
There is also the Neolithic Stonehenge, a popular site for the effects of the sun on the stones. Although the architects and large construction companies in Manhattan intended to have no effect from the sun’s rays, it turned out that way.
Although it doesn’t happen on the solstice, it does happen a few weeks later, when the sun sets at exactly the right angle on the streets of Manhattan. It can be admired on May 29, 2023 and will be visible again this Tuesday and in July.
This curious phenomenon was described by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in 1977 in an article for Natural History, in which he said he decided to name it after visiting Stonehenge. The New Yorker thought that the spectacle created by lightning striking Manhattan skyscrapers could be compared to the solar image at the center of the Stonehenge circle at the solstice.
So, Manhattanhenge was the name given to the phenomenon that occurs at sunset across the streets of Manhattan from east to west. This doesn’t only happen in New York, there are some other cities that have these angles in their streets that paint them red, for example, “Chicagohenge” and “Baltimorehenge” in March and September.
When to see Manhattanhenge?
If the plane was oriented north, this event would occur on the solstice, but since it is tilted, the dates differ. This phenomenon can now be observed on consecutive days, on the 29th we saw how the Sun was positioned between the skyscrapers and it can be observed again today.
Here are the dates for this year:
– Monday, May 29 at 8:13 PM ET.
– Tuesday, May 30 at 8:12 PM ET.
– Wednesday, July 12 at 8:20 PM ET.
– Thursday, July 13 at 8:21 PM ET.
Where to see Manhattanhenge?
Experts suggest that it can be seen on the widest streets of Manhattan. Numbers 14, 23, 34, 42 and 57. Another option is to cross the East River into Long Island City, Queens.
The NYCHenge map indicates what the sun will look like on different New York streets and for more information, you can visit the Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium website, where they update the best times to view the event.
It is an ideal choice for both amateur and professional taking photos.
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