For those unfamiliar with the city-wide Instagram spectacle, Manhattanhenge refers to the twice-a-year phenomenon where the setting sun perfectly lines up with New York City's east-to-west street grids. The sun slowly creeps down between the city's buildings and skyscrapers, radiating a magnificent golden glow over the pavements.
The term was coined by Neil deGrasse Tyson back in 2001 in reference to England's Stonehenge, a historical landmark where the sunrise forms a perfect alignment with the rocks during summer solstice. In prehistoric times, this signaled the change of seasons.
In modern day Manhattan, this event presents the perfect social media opportunity. It's not uncommon to spot New Yorkers hoisting their smartphones in the street amidst busy traffic, in attempts to get the perfect shot. Certain intersections guarantee better viewing than others: Major thoroughfares, such as 14th, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets, are the most ideal. The key thing to do is to stake out as far East on the island as possible.
The perfect time to catch a half sun on the street grids this year will be Monday, May 29 at 8:13 p.m. and Thursday, July 13 at 8:21 p.m. The full sun will be most visible on Tuesday, May 30 at 8:12 p.m. and Wednesday, July 12 at 8:20 p.m.