Manhattanhenge 2014: New York's answer to Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

The term was coined by US astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson

On Thursday evening, swathes of New Yorkers and bewildered tourists will take a moment to gaze up at Manthattanhenge: the bustling city’s answer to Summer Solstice at Stonehenge.

Manhattanhenge is the arguably bigger, better, all-American cousin of its Somerset namesake, where druids flock to watch the sun rise in perfect alignment with the neolithic pillars during the spring equinox.

As the New York district sits around 30 degrees east from due north, Manhattanhenge sees the sun align precisely with the district's carefully planned street grid, but falls on 29 May and 12 July instead of the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Streets which are said to give the best views are: 14th, 23rd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them. Photos look particularly impressive shot between 34th and 42nd, where the iconic Empire State and Chrysler buildings will frame the sun.

Read more: Stonehenge is like a sacred 'prehistoric glockenspiel'

As the sun begins to set at around 8:16pm ET, it will appear as a glowing semi-circle between the skyscrapers which make up the Manhattan skyline.

Friday’s sunset, although not an official Manhattanhenge, will also offer spectacular views, as at 8:18pm ET the sun will appear as an enormous globe in the sky.

The term Manhattanhenge was coined in 1996 by popular US astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil de Grasse Tyson.

In his explanation of phenomenon, Tyson jokes that academics of the future will link the celestial event with Memorial Day (26 May) Baseball's All Star Day (16 July), in the same way modern-day archaeologists mark a significance between Stonehenge and the Summer Solstice.

“Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball,” quips Tyson.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible