There are plenty of reasons to live in and visit New York City. From Broadway to The Statue of Liberty and Times Square, The Big Apple has sights and sounds that are hard to find anywhere else. Another amazing addition to the city’s magic is Manhattanhenge, which happens only a few times a year, when the sun lines up perfectly with the skyscrapers that sit on Manhattan’s street grid.
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The term was coined by none other than beloved astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who saw a connection between the event and a similar one that takes place at Stonehenge during the summer solstice. Manhattanhenge only happens for two nights at a time, but can also repeat within a matter of months.
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Tyson says, "For these two days, as the Sun sets on the grid, half the disk sits above and half below the horizon. But the day after also offers Manhattanhenge moments, but at sunset, you instead will find the entire ball of the Sun on the horizon. Beyond the grid you need a clear view to the horizon, as Manhattan has across the Hudson River to New Jersey. And tall buildings that line the streets create a vertical channel to frame the setting Sun, creating a striking photographic opportunity."
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Residents and tourists alike flock to capture the beautiful sunsets and their pictures can be found all over the internet. This year the sightings took place between Tuesday May 29 and Wednesday May 30, then again on July 12 and 13. Beyond the name, Tyson also provided some advice for anyone local who’s interested. He says the best location is as Far East in Manhattan as possible. Of course, this information is only relevant for those who are lucky enough to witness the phenomena in person.
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