Waiting to see a full sun floating on the horizon, New York spectators instead found the urban phenomenon of “Manhattanhenge” a bit underwhelming Wednesday night.
This unique event happens when the sun aligns perfectly with the Manhattan street grid. The sun creates 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,” Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson, who named the semi-annual event, said on the planetarium's website.
Georgina Castanon tried to see “Manhattanhenge” on Tuesday, but clouds foiled the photo shoot. But Wednesday night, she and hundreds of other New Yorkers had a little more success.
“We had beautiful light behind the clouds, and the orange glow reflected onto the buildings ... but that was it,” she wrote on CNN iReport. “The sun was covered by the clouds, but the experience of being with all these people was wonderful.”
Rachel Cauvin was surprised to see so many people on the overpass next to Grand Central Station waiting to snap a photo of the phenomenon.
“Taxi cabs and cars were all slowing down trying to figure out what these crazy New Yorkers were doing looking West on 42nd St towards New Jersey,” she said.
It was her first time seeing Manhattanhenge, and she found the experience didn’t quite meet her expectations. “It was a little disappointing because the skies were not clear and when the sun would have been dead center to the street, it went behind a huge cloud over New Jersey,” she said.
Luckily, the phenomenon will be visible again on July 11 and 12, so she’s keen to try again then. Here’s to hoping for better weather next time!