What is Chicagohenge and Where Can You See it?

The twice-a-year phenomenon will see the sun align with the city's street grid leading up to the autumnal equinox on Sept. 23

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A breathtaking bi-annual phenomenon where Chicago's symmetrical street grid lines up with sunrises and sunsets known as "Chicagohenge" is occurring throughout this month, and getting a great look is easier than you think.

The name is inspired by similar events in other cities where sunrises and sunsets near the autumnal and vernal equinoxes align with a city's street grid, allowing unobstructed views of the sun between the city's buildings.

New York City, Toronto and Montreal all experience similar events, locally known as "Manhattanhenge", "Torontohenge" and "Montrealhenge" respectively.

As it is described by Adler experts, Chicagohenge marks the point when the sunrise or sunset happens almost precisely between buildings on Chicago's east- and west-facing streets.

The gorgeous views will be best visible along the street grid just after sunrise and just before sunset, with the sun most closely aligning with the city's grid between Sept. 21 and Sept. 23.

Some popular downtown spots for the phenomenon include intersections between Kinzie Street and Madison Street, with views looking down Randolph Street north of Millennium Park specifically recommended for September.

While the downtown locations offer the most contrast between the sun and the buildings, the Adler Planetarium said just about any intersection in the city will do.

"Finding a place to spot Chicagohenge is a no-brainer! Simply find one of Chicago’s east-west facing streets, plop a seat, and enjoy the view," the Adler Planetarium stated.

The autumnal equinox occurs on Sept. 22, with ideal viewing times at 6:38 a.m. and 6:47 p.m. for sunrise and sunset, respectively.

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