What is Manhattanhenge, you may be asking? Allow me to explain!

Four times a year, the sunset aligns perfectly with New York City's grid street layout. This happens twice a year with a full sun, and twice a year with a half sun; all four times the sun illuminates both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid. Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has called it "a unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the universe."

NdGT has a fantastic essay on the phenomenon here at the American Museum of Natural History website.

NdGT also gives this great tip: "For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible. But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey. Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th. 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them. The Empire State building and the Chrysler building render 34th street and 42nd streets especially striking vistas."

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

If you're a photographer, professional or amateur, this is a great opportunity to take some incredible shots. Just be prepared to deal with crowds of others trying to get the same shot. If you get a great one, share it with us!

Mario Tama/Getty Images

 

Half Sun on the Grid

Friday, May 29 8:12 P.M. EDT
Monday, July 13 8:21 P.M. EDT

Full Sun on the Grid

Saturday, May 30 8:12 P.M. EDT
Sunday, July 12 8:20 P.M. EDT