Manhattanhenge - virtual viewing

• James Hedberg

Twice a year, the setting sun is aligned with the Manhattan Street Grid. This event is reminiscent of ancient civilizations that built structures whose geometry was related to the positions of the sun or moon or other heavenly bodies.

The orthogonal streets of Manhattan are not aligned with the cardinal directions of North, South, East and West, but are rotated by 29°. So, if you’re traveling uptown, you are not traveling straight north, but rather in the north-east direction. The sun normally sets in the south west, but the exact position changes throughout the year, as a result of the earth’s tilt in its orbit. Every year, at certain days, this position on the horizon will be aligned with the East-West running streets of Manhattan, creating spectacular views through the columns of the buildings. Normally, we’d say go grab your camera and join the crowds - but not this year :(

We’ve used OpenSpace and some opendata from the City of NY to simulate these views. Here is a playlist with some of our simulations.

This year’s in person viewing dates are May 29th and 30th, and then again July 11th and 12th. If you can’t make it, and we completely understand why it might not be a good idea this year, then subscribe to our pages (below) and experience these virtual visits.