New Yorkers were wowed on Wednesday by a sunset that was perfectly framed by skyscrapers, thanks to an urban astronomical phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge.
The same planetary tilt that determines the seasons also dictates exactly where the sun will go down each evening — and because of the way that Manhattan's dominant street grid is laid out, killer sunsets are potentially visible from some of the borough's best-known east-west streets in late May and mid-July.
Tuesday's ceremony was rained out, but the skies were clear enough on Wednesday to make for some beautiful postings on photo-sharing sites such as Instagram and Twitter, Flickr and Facebook.
Doing a search for the hashtag #Manhattanhenge on Twitter will bring up a nice selection — including Edgar Gonzalez's view from 34th Street, which you see above.
Another picture from Gonzalez shows the scene just before Manhattanhenge reached its climax at 8:15 p.m. ET. For better or worse, sunset-watching crowds have become a big part of the phenomenon. Why is Manhattanhenge such a big deal for New Yorkers? One reason may be that urban residents are starved for cosmic wonders.