Manhattanhenge 2019: When and Where to Watch, If Weather Permits

New Yorkers, get ready for another chance to marvel at Manhattanhenge.

For two days every spring and summer, the sunset lines up with Manhattan’s street grid, creating a gorgeous celestial spectacle. For a brief moment, the sun’s golden rays illuminate the city’s buildings and traffic with a breathtaking glow.

“It’s the best sunset picture of the year that you will have in this beautiful city,” Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History said to The Times in a 2017 interview. “Sometimes they call it the Instagram holiday.”

Manhattanhenge’s name is a homage to Stonehenge, the monument in England believed to have been constructed by prehistoric people and used in rituals related to the sun. During the summer solstice, the sunrise there is perfectly framed by its stone slabs.

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Last year, Manhattanhenge in May was blocked by pesky clouds. But if weather permits, you can catch the dazzling display at the following days and times, according to Dr. Faherty:

  • Wed., May 29, 8:12 (and 30 seconds) p.m. Eastern time

  • Thurs., May 30, 8:12 p.m. Eastern time

On Wednesday, the evening weather forecast suggested a 60 percent chance of rain. The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook, with a chance of strong to severe thunderstorms in the area. No such outlook was issued for Thursday.

Manhattanhenge appears either as a full-sun event or a half-sun one.

Manhattanhenge happens in pairs, as a full sun one day and a half sun the other. The full sun is when the bottom of the sun kisses the city grid, according to Dr. Faherty. The half sun is when the middle of the sun touches the grid.

There’s no real difference between the two except the order in which the sunsets occur. This year, we get the half sun on May 29 and the full sun on May 30. This summer, we’ll get the full sun on July 12 and the half sun on July 13. So the order is half-full-full-half.

Whether you get a good show depends on how cloudy it is.

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