People crowd onto 42nd Street as they take photos of the "Manhattanhenge" phenomenon in New York City on July 11, 2014.
Carlo Allegri—Reuters
By Melissa Chan
May 29, 2016

New Yorkers hoping to get a glimpse of what it looks like when the sun lines up perfectly with Manhattan’s street grid will get their chance starting Sunday night.

Dubbed “Manhattanhenge” by famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the rare event happens only twice a year and simultaneously illuminates both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid, according to Tyson. This year, the two-day event takes place Sunday and Monday night at 8:12 p.m. E.T.

The best place to be is as far east in Manhattan as possible, Tyson says, noting that spectators should arrive 30 minutes before the set time. Other good cross streets for viewing include 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th.

“What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues?” Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, explains in a post featured on the American Museum of Natural History’s website.

“These two days happen to correspond with Memorial Day and Baseball’s All Star break,” he writes. “Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball.”

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