Manhattanhenge 2022: When and where to watch in New York City

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
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Twice a year, the setting sun lines up with Manhattan's streets to provide one of the most amazing sunset photos you can capture in New York City. That was the case Monday night.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Manhattanhenge made a stunning return in New York City Monday night.

Twice a year, the setting sun lines up with Manhattan's streets to provide one of the most amazing sunset photos you can capture in New York City.

Manhattanhenge happens on approximately the same two days in May and then again on two days in July every year.

If you didn't catch Manhattanhenge in May, or on Monday night, you can still catch it on:

Tuesday, July 12, a half sun at 8:21 p.m.

If you want to get a shot worthy of the occasion, follow these tips from AccuWeather:

  • Plan ahead: Be sure to check the weather and stake out your spot well before the sunset. As with any big event in New York City, Manhattanhenge attracts crowds.
  • Pick the right street: Find a street with an unobstructed view of the horizon. NYC Parks has outlined the best streets to witness the moment. They are:57th Street42nd Street34th Street23rd Street14th StreetTudor City Overpass, ManhattanHunter's Point South Park in Long Island City, Queens
  • Bring the right equipment and check your settings: If you really want the perfect shot, bring a tripod and a quality camera. Make sure your settings are ready for the low-light conditions. Pick a high aperture setting such as F/16 and make sure your ISO is the lowest possible for your camera.
  • Experiment with different subjects: Try picking something in the foreground to focus on, such as someone watching the sunset or a fountain. This creates a silhouette for a more appealing shot.

WHERE DOES THE NAME MANHATTANHENGE COME FROM?

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term in a 1997 article in the magazine Natural History. Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at New York's American Museum of Natural History, has said that he was inspired by a visit to Stonehenge as a teenager.

The future host of TV shows like PBS' "Nova ScienceNow" was part of an expedition led by Gerald Hawkins, the scientist who first theorized that Stonehenge's mysterious megaliths were an ancient astronomical observatory.

It struck Tyson, a native New Yorker, that the setting sun framed by Manhattan's highrises could be compared to the sun's rays striking the center of the Stonehenge circle on the solstice.

Unlike the Neolithic Stonehenge builders, the planners who laid out Manhattan did not mean to channel the sun. It just worked out that way.

DO OTHER CITIES HAVE 'HENGES'?

Similar effects occur in other cities with uniform street grids. Chicagohenge and Baltimorehenge happen when the setting sun lines up with the grid systems in those cities during March and September, around the spring and fall equinoxes. Torontohenge occurs around Feb. 16 and Oct. 25.

But Manhattanhenge is particularly striking because of the height of the buildings and the unobstructed path to the Hudson.

(Some information from the Associated Press)

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