Manhattanhenge, the twice-yearly solar shining down the cross streets of New York City, is back tonight.
Just as the rising summer solstice sun shines through the megaliths of Stonehenge, so does the setting sun shoot its golden rays across what was once upon a time Lenape territory as the orb sinks below the horizon on July 11.
The first one of 2012 occurred on May 30, a couple of weeks before the longest day of the year. Now as the sun’s path edges almost imperceptibly back toward the south, we are visited once again by the heavenly sight.
The time to watch today is 8:24 p.m., for the full sun on the grid, and the best viewing spots remain the same, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium. Those who miss Wednesday’s full-on henge can catch the half-sun on the grid on Thursday July 12 at 8:25 p.m.
“For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible,” astrophysicist deGrasse Tyson writes in the planetarium’s blog. “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.”