AMNH is throwing a big bash for the last Manhattanhenge of 2024

Don't miss it—or you'll have to wait 'til 2025 to see it again!

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Things to Do Editor
People cross busy intersection on 23rd Street in Manhattan New York City with the colorful light of sunset casting long shadows
Photograph: By Ryan DeBerardinis / Shutterstock

New Yorkers have had a complicated relationship with the sun this summer. Yes, we need the sun for life, but she's been extra fiery this year—overwhelming bridges, delaying trains and turning us all into sticky shells of ourselves. The city practically audibly exhales when the massive star dips beyond the horizon. 

That context imbues this year's Manhattanhenge with extra emotion. During the rare phenomenon, the streets of Manhattan line up perfectly with the sunset, making for a stunning sight. In honor of the last Manhattanhenge of 2024, the American Museum of Natural History is throwing a party on Friday, July 12, and everyone's invited. 

RECOMMENDED: A Guide to Manhattanhenge 2024 in NYC

Manhattanhenge happens four nights per year. The first two already happened back in May, so if you missed it, you won't want to miss the July dates. The full sun will be perched on the grid on Friday, July 12, at 8:20 pm, and the half Sun will be visible on Saturday, July 13, at 8:21pm.

If you want to not just see the phenomenon but also learn about it, head to the American Museum of Natural History on Friday, July 12 for a viewing party with special programming. Dr. Jackie Faherty, AMNH's senior scientist and education manager, will lead a ticketed 3D presentation about the science and history behind Manhattanhenge using the museum’s powerful OpenSpace visualization software. Tickets are $20 and for sale here.

Photograph: ShutterstockPhotograph: Shutterstock

After you learn some cool facts inside the museum, head outside to the free viewing event where you'll get to see the mesmerizing solar alignment while listening to music from the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra.

"Manhattanhenge has become a part of the NYC summer experience. With so many people in the city realizing it is happening including a large number of people coming from out of town to witness it, the event ends up injecting a large amount of energy into the day. From an astronomy perspective, it’s really special to have the Sun—our host star—line up so perfectly with the concrete jungle of the city. Sunsets provide — arguably—the best light of the day, the golden hour light so it makes for an all around spectacular immersive astronomical experience," Faherty tells Time Out New York. 

It makes for an all around spectacular immersive astronomical experience.

Even if you can't make it to the Upper West Side party, you can see Manhattanhenge on your own. The best cross streets are 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, and 57th, as they're all wide blocks with interesting buildings for framing your photos. It is recommended to go farther east for the best views. Be sure to stay safe by following walk/don't walk signs and paying attention to traffic. 

Faherty also recommends finding a place where you can safely watch the event without cars, like the overpass at Tudor City on 42nd Street as well as the overpass for taxis at Grand Central. (Though both of these spots often get very crowded!)

As for eye safety, Faherty says: "Manhattanhenge is a sunset viewing event so it’s the 'safest' time to look toward the sun. The reason you can look toward the sun when it is on the horizon is because you are staring at it through a large amount of atmosphere which serves as a protective layer for your eyes."

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