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Manhattanhenge Viewing: Sun to Align With NYC's Grid as Skies Remain Clear

Picturesque conditions are expected Friday and Saturday evenings during this year's initial appearance of the Manhattanhenge phenomenon in New York City.

The sun makes a perfect alignment with Manhattan's street grid; the view is created by the city's layout with its cross streets set up east to west and the Earth's rotation.

The event starts at 8:12 both evenings.

There will be great viewing conditions Friday evening with clear skies, AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said.

"There will be some clouds around Saturday evening but probably not enough to obscure the horizon," Doll said. "The clouds could make the sunset more picturesque."

Manhattanhenge occurs four times a year: twice in the summer during the setting sun and twice in the winter during the rising sun. The last summer appearance will be Sunday, July 12.

Manhattanhenge got its name from Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in England which displays a similar happening when once a year the sun rises in perfect alignment with the stones. Manhattanhenge gained popularity in 2002, thanks to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who coined the term in 2001.

Other cities in the United States and Canada also observe their own solstice including Chicago, Baltimore, Toronto and Montreal.