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Get Ready for Manhattanhenge 2022

If you’re in New York, get ready for Manhattanhenge 2022! On Monday, May 30, the setting Sun will line up perfectly with the NYC street grid.

Setting Sun visible between skyscrapers lining 42nd street in New York.

Sun illuminating 42nd street and the Chrysler Building during Manhattanhenge.

©iStockphoto.com/Elisank79

Twice a year, the setting Sun lines up perfectly with the Manhattan street grid and sends its golden rays through the urban canyons of New York.

Dubbed Manhattanhenge, the next time this event takes place is this coming Monday (May 30).

The Sun sets at 20:19 (8:19 pm) that day, so New Yorkers will get the best views around 20:12 (8:12 pm) Eastern Time, just before it touches the horizon.

That said, it’s wise to get into position well before that, especially if you’re planning to take photos.

Will It Be Cloudy?

The weather forecast for Monday is looking quite promising at the moment—but that may change. Keep an eye on our NYC weather report for up-to-date predictions!

Half-Sun Manhattanhenge on Sunday

If Monday’s forecast deteriorates, but you still want to get a taste of the Manhattanhenge experience, Sunday is your best bet.

On Sunday evening at 20:13 (8:13 pm), only the upper half of the Sun’s disk is visible above the horizon as it lines up with the streets of New York. This is called the half-Sun Manhattanhenge.

A crowd of people standing on 42nd street in New York, all looking in one direction.

Manhattanhenge can draw large crowds when the skies are clear.

©iStockphoto.com/JaysonPhotography

Best Places to See Manhattanhenge

Writing for the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson recommends finding a spot “as far east as possible that still has views of New Jersey across the Hudson River.”

The best spots include the following east-west streets, some of which feature New York’s most iconic skyscrapers:

  • 14th Street
  • 23rd Street
  • 34th Street (view includes the Empire State Building)
  • 42nd Street (view includes the Chrysler Building)
  • 57th Street

Tyson further mentions the Tudor City Overpass and Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City (Queens) as locations that offer an unobstructed view of the sunset.

Another Manhattanhenge in July

The late-May event is only one of two opportunities to see the Manhattanhenge sunset in 2022. The next ones are:

  • Full-Sun Manhattanhenge July 11 at 20:20 (8:20 pm) Eastern Time
  • Half-Sun Manhattanhenge on July 12 at 20:21 (8:21 pm) Eastern Time

It’s Not a Solstice

It was Neil deGrasse Tyson who coined the term Manhattanhenge. It alludes to Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England oriented toward the sunrise at the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

The event has also been called the “Manhattan Solstice,” but strictly speaking, it is not directly linked to the solstices—except for the fact that it always happens some weeks before and after the summer solstice.

The Solar System and the City

While Manhattanhenge has earned a place on the bucket list of many photographers and Instagram disciples, it also makes for a memorable experience for those not primarily interested in snapping pictures.

“Manhattanhenge provides a striking connection between an urban environment and the sky,” says Graham Jones, resident astrophysicist at timeanddate.

“City dwellers don’t often get to connect with the solar system—but this is a nice opportunity to do just that.”