It’s Manhattanhenge: Sunset to align with cross streets Thursday, Friday

     The sun sets along 42nd Street in Manhattan during an annual phenomenon known as

    The sun sets along 42nd Street in Manhattan during an annual phenomenon known as "Manhattanhenge," when the sun aligns perfectly with the city's transit grid, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    If you’re a JSHN contributor, you know that I’m a sunset aficionado.

    So that’s why it’s my pleasure to remind you that Manhattanhenge, the biannual event when the sunset will align perfectly with the borough’s cross streets, is today and tomorrow.

    Why is a Jersey Shore reporter talking about Manhattan? Well, many of us work or visit there, so if you’re leaving late from work or happy hour, here’s your chance to see something cool. 

    From The New York Times:

    For 15 minutes, beginning just after 8 p.m., the sun will appear on the edge of the grid in half-disk form, like a postcard. It will illuminate the city’s deep canyons and wash the dirty city in peachy light. Then it will set on the streets’ center lines, at 8:16.

    NYT says that the best views will be from the East Side at 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th. 

    It’s a term derived from England’s Stonehenge, “where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect,” according to Wikipedia. More from the Internet’s encyclopedia: 

    The word was popularized in 2002 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. The term applies to those streets that follow the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which are laid out in a grid offset 29.0 degrees from true east–west.

    If you miss this week’s occurrence, your last and final shot for 2014 is July 12. 

    Happy sunset viewing! 

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.