Where to view and what to know – NBC New York

One of New York City’s most-loved free summer events is back this week — here’s when the best time will be to view Manhattanhenge and everything else you need to know before going out to get the perfect photo (or at least try to).

The semi-annual solar spectacle occurs when the sunset perfectly aligns with Manhattan’s east-west streets of its traffic grid. Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists alike pour into the streets to view the striking natural occurrence. If you’re looking to see it, Tuesday will offer the best weather.

There will be a “half sun” view of Manhattanhenge, a term claimed to be coined by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, on Tuesday night. That occurs when the top half of the sun is visible on the grid before it slips below the horizon.

NBC New York

Sunset Tuesday is at 8:18 p.m. and conditions are going to be ideal: clear skies, temperatures in the mid-70s, low humidity, light wind. No need for a jacket or even a sweater; all you’ll need to capture that perfect picture is your phone (and hopefully crowds that cooperate).

Those hoping to catch the sun set seemingly sink into the city skyline can get the best views on the major crosstown streets:

  • 14th Street
  • 23rd Street
  • 34th Street
  • 42nd Street
  • 57th Street

Make sure to pick a spot facing west, though it is recommended to head farther east to see the best views of the spectacle.

NBC New York

“Unnoticed by many, the sunset point actually creeps day to day along the horizon: northward until the first day of summer, then returning southward until the first day of winter,” Tyson wrote for the American Museum of Natural History. “Had Manhattan’s grid been perfectly aligned with the geographic north-south line, then the days of Manhattanhenge would coincide with the equinoxes.”

Wednesday night’s sunset will showcase the “full sun” Manhattanhenge. This is when the entire sun is in line with the city’s grid just before sunset at 8:19PM.

Unfortunately, Wednesday evening’s weather will not be as cooperative as Tuesday’s. Clouds will be on the increase all day. By sunset, even though buildings won’t obscure a view of the sun, clouds will. On top of questionable visibility, showers and storms are back in the forecast Wednesday night as well.

NBC New York

NBC New York

Expect showers in the city at or around sunset, with maybe even a rumble of thunder mixed in. Needless to say, it won’t be an ideal evening for Manhattanhenge, otherwise known as the Manhattan Solstice.

While hopeful viewers may only get to see a half Manhattanhenge this time around, do not fret: The next full Manhattanhenge will be here before you know it, on July 12.

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