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Photograph: ShutterstockPhotograph: Shutterstock

Manhattanhenge returns this weekend for the last time this year

This is your last chance to see the phenomenon in 2020.

By
Shaye Weaver
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There's no canceling this event.

Manhattanhenge—the urban phenomenon when the setting sun lines up perfectly with the street grid of Manhattan and illuminates its cross streets—returns this weekend for the last time in 2020.

The event only happens twice a year. The first one took place at the end of May.

According to the American Museum of Natural History, you can catch the last Manhattanhenge at these times:

  • Saturday at 8:20pm, when you'll see the full sun on the grid
  • Sunday at 8:21pm, when you'll see the half-sun on the grid

To see it best, make sure to get as far east in Manhattan as you can, meaning that when you look west you can see New Jersey.

Each year, we see New Yorkers crowding at these particular spots with their cameras, trying desperately to get the perfect shot. New Yorkers should take care this year to make sure they don't gather in large groups because it could help aid the spread of COVID-19. 

Astrophysicist Jackie Faherty of AMNH has given clear instructions on how best to experience it without crowding. 

Faherty is hosting a live, virtual "flight" across the city's grid on Friday. She'll talk about the history and astronomy behind Manhattanhenge and what makes it a unique urban phenomenon. Tune in at 1pm.

Take these precautions (wear a mask) and enjoy basking in the last Manhattanhenge glow!

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