Manhattanhenge 2024: Watch live and see what time it starts

NEW YORK — Twice a year, New Yorkers and visitors witness a phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun aligns with Manhattan’s street grid and sinks below the horizon , framed by a canyon of skyscrapers.

The event is a favorite of photographers and often brings people to the sidewalks on spring and summer evenings to admire this unique sunset.

The first Manhattanhenge of the year took place on Tuesday at 8:13 p.m., with a slight variation occurring again on Wednesday at 8:12 p.m. It will occur again on July 12 and 13.

Some information on the phenomenon:


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

The future host of television shows such as PBS’s “Nova ScienceNow” was part of an expedition led by Gerald Hawkins, the scientist who first hypothesized that the mysterious megaliths at Stonehenge were an ancient astronomical observatory.

Tyson, a New York native, was struck by the fact that the setting sun framed by Manhattan’s skyscrapers could be compared to the sun’s rays hitting the center of the Stonehenge circle at the solstice.

Unlike the Neolithic builders of Stonehenge, the planners who laid out Manhattan did not intend to channel the sun. It worked like that.


Manhattanhenge does not take place on the summer solstice itself, which is June 20 this year. Instead, it happens about three weeks before and after the solstice. This is when the sun aligns perfectly with the east-west streets of the Manhattan grid.

Viewers have the choice between two different versions of the phenomenon.

On May 28 and July 13, half of the sun will be above the horizon and half below as it aligns with the streets of Manhattan. On May 29 and July 12, the entire sun will appear to hover between buildings just before sinking into the New Jersey skyline across the Hudson River.


Traditional viewing spots are along the city’s major east-west thoroughfares: 14th Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street, and 57th Street. The further east you go, the more spectacular the view is as the sun’s rays hit the facades of the buildings on either side. It is also possible to see Manhattanhenge across the East River in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.


Manhattanhenge viewing parties are not unheard of, but they are mostly a DIY affair. People gather on the east-west streets about half an hour before sunset and take photo after photo as dusk approaches. That’s if the weather is nice. There is no Manhattanhenge visible on rainy or cloudy days.


Similar effects occur in other cities with a uniform street network. Chicagohenge And Baltimorehenge This occurs when the setting sun aligns with the networks of these cities in March and September, around the spring and autumn equinoxes. Torontohenge This happens in February and October.

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

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