Manhattanhenge 2013 : LAST VIEWING OF 2013 TONIGHT AND TOMORROW
Barring forecasted thunderstorms and rain, Manhattanhenge will occur for the final time this year on Friday, July 12 and continue through sunset on Saturday, July 13.
The beautiful sight seen above happens when the city’s grid lines up with the location of the sunset.
Hopefully, the clouds will spare the city long enough for New Yorkers to catch a glimpse. Last year’s Manhattan henge was a total bust, with cloudy skies obstructing the view. 2011 was pretty nice though.
New Yorkers should be able to look off to the West, through 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them, and see the sun set through the city’s iconic buildings at around 8:23 pm EDT on Friday and 8:24 pm EDT on Saturday.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, coined the name Manhattanhenge as a play on Stonehenge, an ancient rock-slab structure in England.
During the summer solstice at Stonehenge, the sun aligns and creates views so stunning that the fleeting sight has convinced some scholars that astronomy must have been important to Stonehenge’s creators.
This all seems to tickle Tyson, who wonders if our city’s grid will inspire similar awe on a post on the museum’s website:
What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance.
Tyson says this Saturday is the ideal day for viewing and photographing the wonder — this is when the only top half of the sun can be seen above the horizon. Thunderstorms are also less likely.
If Friday evening brings clear weather, it could also be a great day for seeing the show — on that day the entire sun will rest just above the horizon as it sets.
Otherwise, we will all have to wait another year.