People photograph the Manhattanhenge sunset from East 42nd Street on July 11, 2022, in New York.Julia Nikhinson/APCNN

(CNN) New York's world-famous skyline has dazzled viewers for nearly a century. But for four days a year, the sun aligns perfectly through the spaces between the buildings to project an astonishing beam of light at sunset reminiscent of England's ancient Stonehenge.

This very modern version, nicknamed "Manhattanhenge", will appear for the first time in 2023 at sunset on Monday night (8:19 p.m., local time).

  • Manhattanhenge: the magical Manhattan sunset that only happens twice a year

Viewers will see a half-sun hovering over the city's street network at 8:13 p.m., and there will be a glimpse of the full sun Tuesday at 8:12 p.m., astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson states on the American Museum of Natural History website.

The effect lasts only a few minutes, when the sunset light is projected through the streets from east to west that are not blocked by any of the gigantic buildings on the island.

According to Dave Hennen, CNN's chief meteorologist, the weather is very favorable that night. As the sun sets, he said mostly clear skies with temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius are expected.

But if you miss this week's show, there will be another one in mid-July.


Where to see Manhattanhenge?

The sun sets as it aligns with 42nd Street in Manhattan on July 11, 2022.
Jeenah Moon/Reuters

Tyson gives some advice on where to watch it. For best effect, move as far east of Manhattan as possible. Make sure that when you look west through the avenues, you can still see New Jersey. These are the streets where it will look especially good:

- 14th Street- 23rd
Street- 34th

Street- 42nd
Street- 57th Street

The New York Department of Parks and Recreation also suggests the Tudor City flyover in Manhattan and Hunter's Point South Park in Long Island City, Queens.

Although it's called "Manhattanhenge," you can also see the same effect in parts of Queens.

The phenomenon is due to Manhattan's simple grid system, dating from the early nineteenth century. This happy lineup starts at Houston Street and goes all the way south to 155th Street.

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