'Manhattanhenge' returns to New York skies

The "Manhattanhenge" sunset was perfectly aligned Monday, giving onlookers a visual treat in New York.

Story highlights

  • Phenomenon dubbed "Manhattanhenge" occurs for second time this year
  • Lowering sun aligns with east-west streets, creating ray of light in between buildings

(CNN)They say that lightning never strikes in the same place twice, but it seems that sunsets do.

New Yorkers and tourists with smartphones and cameras were treated to a stunning "Manhattanhenge" sunset, seen for the second time this year. "Manhattanhenge" occurs when the lowering sun aligns perfectly with the east-west streets to create a glowing ball of light in between buildings.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium, first coined the term for the phenomenon. The name is a reference to Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in England that famously aligns with the rising sun at the summer solstice and draws visitors from across the globe.
    The New York mayor's office left a simple message to express pride in the city as it bathed in the golden light.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio captured the magical moment on Facebook Live, which gained more than 20,000 views. "It looks mystical," "exceptional" and "just beautiful" were some of the comments about the sunset.
    Thomas Piercy was watching and captured the moment when the sun began to sink slowly toward the horizon.
    Bathed in a flattering golden glow, onlookers marveled at the view as "Manhattanhenge" made its final appearance this year.