NYCHenge.com

Manhattanhenge for every New York City neighborhood.

Twice a year, if it's not too cloudy, the sun famously sets west of Manhattan's skyline in such a way that the island's cavernous east-west streets (OK, they're tilted on a slight axis) flood with light. The sun itself appears to dip to the horizon directly between the skyscrapers. Anyone with a camera is forgiven for halting traffic. Locals call the event Manhattanhenge, a rare alignment of astronomy and urban planning.

Flickr/Shmuel

Like most cities, though, New York is composed of numerous interlocking street grids, neighborhoods all plotted on a slightly different axis depending on the lay of the land or the whims of earlier settlers. This means that there are technically "henge" days (although we don't think anyone calls them that yet) across the city at different dates on the calendar. And now the mapmaking company CartoDB has built a phenomenal tool using OpenStreetMap to find them, casting the city's street grid in, err, "a whole new light."

The interactive map combines the city's street grid with a rotating calculation of the alignment of the sun:

Because you're probably wondering (we were, too), the map's creators say on a blog post about the project that they're hoping to add more cities. "There is no reason," they write, "why only New York should have a Manhattanhenge. We want to see a MissionHenge for SF, or a LatinaHenge for Madrid."

A cloudy sky spoiled the latest Manhattanhenge over the weekend. But now New Yorkers don't have to wait for another one next year.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  2. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  3. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  4. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  5. A man sits on a bench in Bangkok.
    Life

    In a Lonely City, Volunteer Listeners Are Here to Help

    “Often, lonely people long to be noticed by another person who says, ‘I see you.’” That’s where Sidewalk Talk comes in.