More than 100 people filled the corner of Statler Park Sunday afternoon, cameras and phones in hand, to catch a glimpse of Bostonhenge, a biannual phenomenon in which the setting sun lines up just right with certain city blocks.
And a glimpse was nearly all they caught.
The road glittered, for a moment, as rays of fleeting sunshine danced off glass skyscraper facades and bathed the brickwork along Stuart Street in golden light. But as it approached the horizon, the sun ducked behind a wall of clouds just before reaching peak angle at 5:08 p.m.
With minutes to spare, around 4:55 p.m., Ojaswin Singh, a student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, took test shots of the early sunset. He said the moment’s rarity made him a bit nervous about getting he shot right.
Singh said cloud cover earlier in the day left him unsure about whether the henge would happen at all.
But around 4 p.m., as the 21-year-old saw the first clouds begin to break from his campus in Dorchester, Singh said he bolted to his car “on the spot” and raced toward downtown.
He parked in the Park Plaza’s valet section and begged the valet not to have his car moved.
“He let me park there for like five minutes,” Singh said, laughing softly. “The valet person was pretty nice.”
Others came from a few blocks — or a few towns — over to see the spectacle.
As the sun began its descent, Prathyush Parvatharaju fiddled with a drone, trying to get it operational before he lost the light completely. The Natick resident managed to get it airborne a little after 5 p.m. — “a bit too late,” he said.
“The sun went down,” Parvatharaju said, but he said the trip down was still worth it. “It’s about the company as well. We met a few nice, new friends.”
As the crowd dispersed, many remarked that they would be back Monday — hopefully, sans cloud cover.
The phenomenon may still be visible Monday and Tuesday if skies are clear. But rain, snow, and relatively high cloud cover are in the forecast and may block the sun from view on both days, according to the National Weather Service.
The sun sets around 5:10 p.m. both days.
Those unable to catch this month’s Bostonhenge will have another chance in late October, based on historic patterns.