The term “Manhattanhenge” was developed by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson after comparing a Manhattan sunset to the sun aligning at the famous Stonehenge. This typically happens during the summer solstice when the sun aligns between the gridlike structure of buildings in the Manhattan precinct. This phenomenon always occurs over two consecutive evenings and can only be observed a few times a year.A time-lapse of this occurrence provided by the YouTube Channel Earthscape can be observed here.
It is truly a sight to see, with one happening incredibly recently on the days of May 29 and May 30 at 8:13 p.m. and 8:12 p.m. respectively. Luckily, any of those that missed the recent beauty occurring in the rambling streets of New York can see it very soon on July 12 at 8:20 p.m. and July 13th at the same time. Tyson says that the best places to view Manhattanhenge are in the far east of the area and that 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th are fairly clear streets that will provide that perfect view and maybe even a perfect photograph.
Both amateur and professional photographers gather from all over the world in a flurry to get this shot, and any aspiring photographer might find a claim to fame with a picture of the breathtaking phenomenon. Some daredevil shutterbugs even walk out into traffic just to get that perfect photo of the sun climbing up the concrete valley. Famous NYC landmarks such as the Flatiron building and the famous Empire State Building can enhance these shots even more and bring an already perfect photo a ridiculous new height. One tip for getting these photos was already stated earlier, finding a perfect location in the far east of the precinct. It is also recommended to bring a tripod to steady the camera being used just before the shot as well as a zoom lens to switch angles and/or include landmarks quickly. Another tip is that the perfect exposure can enhance the photo even more, it is recommended to shoot in Aperture Priority mode.
The monumental summer event of Manhattanhenge brings tourist and professional photographer alike, so the question is, will you make the decision to see this urban Stonehenge in action? For all the world knows this spectacle may be a relic of the past soon, so nobody should waste time in coming to see it.