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These Manhattanhenge 2016 Photos Are Simply Breathtaking

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It's that time of year again, friends. You know, the time of year when your Instagram feed scrolls endlessly with amazing Manhattanhenge photos.

If you're not familiar with Manhattanhenge, it's a biannual occurrence in which the sun aligns perfectly with the Manhattan street grid as the sun sets. In return, the sun casts vibrant rays of light between the city's buildings, creating a frame-worthy photo op.

As for New Yorkers and camera-wielding tourists? They pour into the city streets for a front-row seat to Mother Nature's finest work.

According to ABC7, the term "Manhattanhenge" was first coined by author and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2001. The phenomenon's name is derived from Stonehenge, the historical monument in Wiltshire, England.

In an article written by Neil deGrasse Tyson for the American Museum of Natural History, Tyson explains,

For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid. A rare and beautiful sight.

The best streets for optimal viewing are said to be 14th, 23rd, 34th and 42nd streets in Manhattan.

Tyson reveals other interesting Manhattanhenge facts in this clip from 2013.

American Museum of Natural History on YouTube

This year, Manhattanhenge 2016 occurred on the evening of July 11. Just after 8pm eastern time, the sun began to set and gave Instagram users in New York a sight to behold as they made their way to known vantage points for a closer look at the breathtaking Manhattanhenge.

Now, let's dive into these postcard-worthy photos...

Behold, Manhattanhenge 2016!

The rare occurrence typically happens twice a year in New York City as the sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan's street grid. According to Gothamist, it will happen again on July 12.

The term "Manhattanhenge" was first coined by author and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2001.

On July 11, New Yorkers and tourists gathered on the city streets to capture the amazing sight as the sun began to set at around 8pm.

The results? Let's just say a Manhattanhenge calendar is TOTALLY necessary!

I mean, LOOK...

Not to mention, this is probably the one time sitting in traffic isn't as miserable as it is every other day.

On Manhattanhenge Day, everyone gets a quality Instagram pic worth endless amounts of likes!

Elite Daily even showed up to capture the awesomeness.

Check out the rest of the photos below.

Elite Daily on YouTube

Citations: Manhattanhenge Returns Monday, Lighting Up Streets From East To West (ABC7)