News Current Events New Yorkers Line Up for 'Manhattanhenge' Manhattanhenge is an urban phenomenon in which the sun sets perfectly along New York City's east-west street grid. By Catie Leary Writer and Photographer Georgia State University Catie Leary writes and curates visual stories about science, animals, the arts, travel, and the natural world. our editorial process Catie Leary Updated July 12, 2019 Gary Hershorn / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices New York City may rarely be the site of stunning astronomical wonders, but twice a year residents and tourists are treated to a special solar event. During Manhattanhenge, the sun sets perfectly along the city's east-west street grid. Manhattanhenge appears on 42nd Street in New York City. mandritoiu/Shutterstock The term "Manhattanhenge" was coined in 2002 by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in reference to England's Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument known for its mysterious origins and dramatic solstice alignments. Manhattanhenge illuminates New York City's skyline at sunset. Hit1912/Shutterstock Ever since Tyson brought mainstream attention to Manhattanhenge, hundreds of New Yorkers have established a tradition of gathering along 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th and some parallel streets to witness a stunning skyscraper-framed sunset. There are two main Manhattanhenge days per year, typically around Memorial Day and again in mid-July. These are known as the "full sun on the grid," but viewers can also see a "half sun on the grid" a day before the May event or a day after the July one. In 2019, the two best Manhattanhenge experiences will occur May 30, at 8:12 p.m. EDT, and again on July 12, at 8:20 p.m. The "half sun on the grid" views will take place May 29, at 8:13 p.m., and July 13, at 8:21 p.m. The popularity of the event has spiked in recent years, so observers are encouraged to show up at least a half-hour early to get a good view.