Amazing Photos From This Summer’s “Manhattanhenge”

Sunset at “Manhattanhenge”

The solar event happens twice a year, when the sun sets perfectly along the east-west grid of Manhattan.


The sun sets along 42nd street during Manhattanhenge 2016.
The sun sets along 42nd street during Manhattanhenge 2016 Source: Adi Kurian

The setting sun during Manhattanhenge as photographed through an iOptron Solar 60 telescope on a Celestron 90 SLT mount.

Twice a year, the setting sun lines up perfectly with the east-west streets on the main grid of Manhattan. The sunset spectacle funnels down through the rows of buildings, making for a pretty spectacular visual known as the Manhattan Solstice, or as Neil deGrasse Tyson first called it, Manhattanhenge.

Source: Katherine Troche/Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

This photo was taken on a Nexus 5X cellphone during Manhattanhenge on July 11, 2016. For about 30 seconds, the phone camera focused directly on the light from the sun, leaving the surrounding buildings in darkness.

Manhattanhenge occurs shortly before and shortly after the summer solstice. The grid of Manhattan is actually rotated 29 degrees clockwise from true east-west, which is the reason Manhattanhenge occurs twice—this year it was on May 30 and July 11.
The sun sets along 42nd street during Manhattanhenge16 Source: Jay Bennett

The setting sun descends out of sight during Manhattanhenge 2016.

Many researchers believe Stonehenge was originally used to track the sun as it moved across the sky, marking the changes in the seasons as it went. When the sun lined up perfectly with the “Heel Stone,” as seen from the center of the construction, the ancient peoples of England knew that it was the summer solstice. Although Manhattan certainly wasn’t built intentionally to track celestial bodies, the biggest city in the United States can serve that purpose.
The sun sets along 42nd street during Manhattanhenge-16 Source: Adi Kurian

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