Manhattanhenge, the Manhattan Solstice — whatever you want to call it, it was this week and it appears to have been more popular than ever. So popular, even the New York Times published a story this year explaining when and where to watch.
It looks like this annual astronomical phenomenon is becoming New York City’s favorite Instagram holiday.
The magical sunset happens on two evenings every spring, as the sun is traveling north to its highest point in the sky at the summer solstice. With Manhattan’s very precise street grid, you can imagine that there would be a point in the year when the sun sets at the point on the horizon that’s visible if you look west down one of Manhattan’s east-west streets.
On these days, the sunset lines up with the grid and paints the town in a lovely orange and yellow glow. It’s really quite fabulous — if a rogue cloud doesn’t ruin your view.
— kick names, take ass (@thatguyahmed) May 30, 2018
It happens again in July as the sun treks south toward the equator, after the summer solstice.
Obviously, the “Manhattanhenge” name is a reference to Stonehenge, which was built in England around 3100 B.C., apparently as a way to mark the summer and winter solstices.
Given the nature of this phenomenon, which marks two important meteorological moments — the beginning of summer and New York City’s hottest days in mid-July — we think the Manhattan Solstice is probably a better name.
— Brandon Gates (@TheBGates) May 31, 2018
— Dan Mannarino (@DanMannarino) May 31, 2018
— SianTravis_NYC (@SianTravis) May 31, 2018
— Nadia Neophytou (@NadiaNeophytou) May 31, 2018
It’s a #NewYork thing! 🔝💯 #Manhattanhenge2018 🌇🌆🗽🇺🇸 #Manhattanhenge #Manhattan #NY #NYC #Wednesday #May30th #Spring2018 #42ndStreet #ABC7NY #NBC4NY #CBSNewYork @fox5ny @CBSNewYork @NBCNewYork @ABC7NY @nycfeelings @NYCDailyPics @TimeOutNewYork @NycPrimeShot @nycgo pic.twitter.com/dVZQQUEogP
— Tommy Gee (@tommygeenyc) May 31, 2018
— Dottie Herman (@DottieHerman) May 31, 2018
#Manhattanhenge wasn’t a total bust! Caught a small glimpse of the sun as it crossed along the western side of 42nd Street. If you look closely at the first photo, you can see dozens of photographers lined up taking pictures from the overpass near Grand Central Terminal pic.twitter.com/CtJ5mONkhk
— Mike Waterhouse (@MikeWaterhouse) May 31, 2018
— Georgia Frances King (@georgiafrancesk) May 31, 2018
— Will Presti (@WillPresti) May 31, 2018
My favorite part of Manhattanhenge is one thousand people just deciding that 42nd Street is a pedestrian mall. pic.twitter.com/gsIyTIWahX
— Clay Shirky (@cshirky) May 31, 2018
— Lady Jane (@OhHellNah) May 31, 2018
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 31, 2018
SOURCE: The Washington Post, Angela Fritz