We've gotten plenty of signs it's nearly spring in Chicago this week, from the arrival of daylight savings time to the season's first stretch of truly balmy weather. But if you're looking for yet another harbinger of warmer days to come, we've got good news: The spring equinox edition of Chicagohenge is returning to light up the city's east-west streets beginning Sunday, March 20.
Half-natural, half- man-made, Chicagohenge refers to the phenomenon that occurs twice a year during the spring and fall equinoxes (the official start of each respective season), when the sun rises and sets directly east and west. Because Chicago's streets are aligned on a north-south grid system, that allows for gorgeous views of the sun hanging low between the buildings on the city's east-west streets—especially in the Loop, where towering skyscrapers offer the perfect frame for sunrise and sunset. You can typically view Chicagohenge for a few days after the equinox, too.
As always, the resident celestial experts at the Adler Planetarium have weighed in with advice on how to catch the best views of Chicagohenge, recommending that folks check the weather a few days ahead of schedule to find the clearest possible day for snapping a photo at sunrise or sunset. Big arterial streets in the Loop (like Madison, Kinzie, Randolph or Lake Streets) usually offer picturesque set-ups. Try not to fret if you miss this one, though—there's always next time!