Photo of the Week: Manhattanhenge

Photo by Rowa Lee

Twice a year, a curious cosmic phenomenon brings photographers to the streets of New York City in droves. Manhattanhenge, as it is fondly called, is an event in which the setting sun aligns with Manhattan's east-west street grid, causing the setting sun to be viewable down the center line of major streets, even from the far eastern side of the island. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term "Manhattanhenge" after England's Stonehenge, a prehistoric circle of rocks that aligns with the rising sun after the summer solstice.

Photographer Rowa Lee captured this lovely sunset scene during the first occurrence of Manhattanhenge last night. The High Line is a great place to watch the sun set on any evening, but on this special evening, the sun magically sinks down the buildings lining the street, before dipping down below the horizon of New Jersey.

Manhattanhenge appears twice a year. If you want to catch the first appearance, the sunset is scheduled for 8:12 PM on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30. In addition to the May dates, New York will receive a second Manhattanhenge appearance on July 12 and 13. To appreciate the phenomenon fully, grab your camera and head to the eastern end of major cross streets in Manhattan, like 14th Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street, or 57th Street to capture your own photos.

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