Manhattanhenge is upon us once again, and the American Museum of Natural History has offered up the 2022 dates for the annual New York City phenomenon.
But wait, what is Manhattanhenge? The celebrated astronomical event brings the sun into alignment with the city's street grid, a visionary design that comes from the Commissioners' Plan of 1811. This perfect alignment only happens four times a year.
Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty of the AMNH calls it "a unique outdoor astronomical adventure for New Yorkers, [where] you get to witness first-hand an Astronomy 101 lesson. The sun changes its position in the sky at sunset every day given that we live in a revolving, rotating world. On the dates of Manhattanhenge sunset, the sun sets lined up with the grid of the city so perfectly framed by the concrete jungle of Manhattan."
Here are the city’s special sunset dates for 2022:
Manhattanhenge 2022 Dates
May 29th 8:13 (Half Sun)
May 30th 8:12 (Full Sun)
July 11th 8:20 (Full Sun)
July 12th 8:21 (Half Sun)
On those dates, you’ll find crowded viewing spots around the city — typically at intersections – where people gather to witness the spectacular sight (weather permitting!).
And if you miss it, fear not, Faherty told MTA Away, “Everyone should remember that between May 29th and July 12th we get the Manhattanhenge Effect! Which is where the sun appears between the grid of the city as it is low in the sky and setting but it doesn’t quite kiss the grid as it sets.”
While the below areas in Midtown tend to draw the biggest crowds — given the picturesque setting of the sun falling between the canyons of skyscrapers — Faherty says just about any street on the grid will work just fine.
"Any street on the grid has a shot at being a great viewing spot for the event although some streets are clearly better than others. The street needs to be able to cross all the way to New Jersey. And you don’t want one with a big slope so you struggle to catch the Sun at street level when it sets. My personal favorite streets right now are 145th street, 72nd street, 34th street and of course 42nd street!"
Popular Viewing Spots
Emerge from the underground and bask in the city grid sunlight at one of these prime locations:
14th Street and Broadway
Steps from 14 Street - Union Square
23rd Street and Broadway
Steps from 23 Street
34th Street and Fifth Avenue
1 block from 34 Street - Herald Square
Tudor City Overpass overlooking 42nd Street
9 minute walk from 42 Street - Grand Central