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Sunset Manhattanhenge 2022: Picture-Perfect Sunsets are back with Manhattanhenge on New York’s Grid

Time is back again for New Yorkers to get ready for the picture-perfect sunsets.

It is because of Manhattanhenge. If the weather is cooperating, it can produce four of the most beautiful sunsets of the year in New York City.

The name ‘Manhattanhenge’ is given by the New Yorkers in the style of Stonehenge which is a rock structure that aligns with the sunrises and sunsets.

The grid of New York City was basically not designed by keeping sunsets in mind, but it ended up functioning in the same manner. 

Across four days every May and July, when the sun settles into the horizon, it looks disappearing perfectly along the New York city’s broad west-east corridors.

The sunsets of Manhattanhenge illuminate New York City’s streets with a beautiful glow of deep tangerine and bubble gum pink.

When does Manhattanhenge occur?

There are four chances to witness it. Twice in the spring season and twice in the summer season, on both ends of the summer solstice on June 21, which is the longest day of the year.

This weekend, Manhattanhenge will occur two times (EST):

A half-sun at 8:13 p.m. on Sunday, May 29th.

A full-sun at 8:12 p.m. on Monday, May 30th.

In July, you will get two more chances to view a grid-perfect sunset:

A full-sun at 8:20 p.m. on Monday, July 11th.

A half-sun at 8:21 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12th.

Difference between half-sun and full-sun:

According to Dr. Faherty, the half-sun looks like the sun is sliced in half and just grazing the horizon, while the full-sun looks like the complete orb touch the pavement. Full-sun is the real star of the show.

Why does Manhattanhenge happen?

This celestial event happens because of a perfect combination of the approaching summer solstice, the city's grid design, and Manhattan island’s natural shape.

About 18,000 years ago, a massive ice sheet atop North America started melting and as a result, the island of Manhattan was carved out.

When, during the summer solstice, the Earth tilts toward and then away from the sun, the beautiful Manhattanhenge is witnessed.

The best places to watch Manhattanhenge:

Being anywhere within the grid system and above 14th Street can give you the view. But you will have to be exactly in the middle of the street to enjoy the perfect view.

Although people prefer 42nd street, Dr. Faherty recommends 72nd street for watching the spectacle.

Manhattanhenge can also be seen outside of Manhattan like in n Brooklyn or Queens. According to Dr. Faherty, the location should be Gantry State Park in Queens.

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