2012 UPDATE: For 2012, the “Manhattanhenge” dates are Tuesday, May 29 at 8:17 pm; Wednesday, May 30 at 8:16 pm… and for the return trip Wednesday, July 11 at 8:24 pm; Thursday, July 12 at 8:25 pm.
Twice a year, New Yorkers get a chance to experience “Manhattanhenge”, the recurring solar event where the setting sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s east-west streets. If you missed it don’t worry, a second date this year is expected to take place on Monday, July 11 through Wednesday, July 13 at around 8:25 p.m. each evening.
The term is derived from Stonehenge in the UK, where the sun aligns with the huge circular formation of stones on the solstices. The “Manhattanhenge” name was popularized in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History.
This shot was taken tonight, May 31, 2011 at 8:10pm EDT looking west down 72nd Street. That’s New Jersey just below the sun.