On Tuesday and Wednesday, the setting sun will line up with Manhattan’s skyscrapers to create a unique urban phenomenon dubbed “Manhattanhenge.”
Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson, who coined the term for the semi-annual event, explains what happens on the planetarium's website:
“The setting sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid."
A half-sun will appear on the grid at 8:17 p.m. ET. On Wednesday, a full sun will appear on the grid at 8:16 p.m. Arrive a half-hour earlier for optimal viewing.
"For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible. But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey," Tyson says. "Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th. 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them. The Empire State building and the Chrysler building render 34th street and 42nd streets especially striking vistas.”