Manhattanhenge Tonight: Rain May Spoil N

July 16 [Tue], 2013, 8:18
Rainy weather in the Big Apple is threatening to wash out New Yorkers' view of "Manhattanhenge" this evening (July 12), an eye-catching phenomenon when the setting sun perfectly aligns with Manhattan's street grid.

The event occurs four times a year, during which the setting sun lines up with the city's grid layout, bathing the north and south sides of every cross street with warm, orangey-pink light. Tonight'swill be the second of the year; New Yorkers were previously treated to the pretty spectacle on May 29.

Current weather forecasts for New York City show a 60 percent chance of rain at sunset, which could spoil the view. But, if conditions are clear, the full effect of Manhattanhenge will be visible tonight at 8:23 p.m. EDT, when the entire orb of the sun appears on the horizon. []

Tomorrow (July 13), the setting sun will create a similar effect for the half sunset, when half of the sun appears above the horizon, and the other half below.

For the best experience, head outside about a half-hour earlier than the time of the actual sunset, said , director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, in a blog post on the museum's website.

"For the best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible," wrote Tyson, who coined the term "Manhattanhenge" in 2001, and is credited with popularizing the event. "But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey."