Similarly, the dates in which the sunrise aligns with the Manhattan grid are evenly spaced around the winter solstice, which approximately corresponds to December 5 and January 8.
Of course, in order to be able to witness this phenomenon, the sky needs to be at least partly clear so you can see the sun.
Here’s a table of the previous dates. Here, “full sun” means that the full solar disk is just above the horizon, and “half sun” means that the solar disk is partially hidden below the horizon (due to the time of day when the phenomenon takes place, the sun can be partly set or partly unrisen).
|May 29, 2016||8:12 p.m.||Half sun|
|May 30, 2016||8:12 p.m.||Full sun|
|July 11, 2016||8:20 p.m.||Full sun|
|July 12, 2016||8:20 p.m.||Half sun|
|May 29, 2017||8:13 p.m.||Half sun|
|May 30, 2017||8:12 p.m.||Full sun|
|July 12, 2017||8:20 p.m.||Full sun|
|July 13, 2017||8:21 p.m.||Half sun|
|May 29, 2018||8:13 p.m.||Half sun|
|May 30, 2018||8:12 p.m.||Full sun|
|July 12, 2018||8:20 p.m.||Full sun|
|July 13, 2018||8:21 p.m.||Half sun|
The 2019 dates for Manhattanhenge are:
- Wednesday, May 29th at 8:13 p.m. EDT (half sun);
- Thursday, May 30th at 8:12 p.m. EDT (full sun);
- Thursday, July 11th at 8:20 p.m. EDT (full sun);
- and Friday, July 12th at 8:21 p.m. EDT (half sun).
Some streets are better suited for the phenomenon than others. For the best results to see Manhattanhenge, you should go east as possible. For instance, the Empire State building and the Chrysler building offer particularly striking views.
As you might expect by now, Manhattan isn’t the only place you can witness this phenomenon. Essentially, if the weather is fine enough, you can see a Manhattanhenge-like phenomenon in any city with perpendicular streets. The date at which the phenomenon happens depends on the alignment of the streets — their angle compared to the east-west line.
You might have to calculate the date yourself, though there’s a good chance you will be able to find it already online.
As a general rule, cities in the US are more likely to have perpendicular streets than cities in Europe, for example, though there are exceptions (such as Barcelona).
In Baltimore, for instance, the two dates of the “Baltimorehenge” sunrise are around March 25 and September 18, while the sunset dates tend to fall on March 12 and September 29. In Chicago, the setting sun lines up with the street grid around March 20 and September 25, a phenomenon dubbed Chicagohenge.
A few other cities where this type of phenomena takes place are Toronto, Montreal, Cambridge (Massachusetts) and the UK’s Milton Keynes.
It’s rare to be able to enjoy a special astronomical phenomenon, let alone a modern one — so if you get a chance to see a Manhattanhenge or some-other-city-henge, be sure to take lots of photos and feel free to share them with the rest of us in the comment section.