Today's the day many people in the south have been waiting for. Comet NEOWISE will dance across skies this evening. And stargazers and astronomy buffs are in for a treat once the sun goes down.
NEOWISE has been hanging out in space all month, but the comet will be passing the closest to earth tonight, July 23, making it appear brighter and easier to see.
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While binoculars or a telescope can enhance your viewing experience, if the weather conditions are clear and you're away from light pollution, you should be able to see it with the naked eye. Just look below the Big Dipper after sunset in the west-northwest region of the sky.
This specific comet won't be making an appearance again for about another 6,800 years, so it's crucial you try and stay awake to see this event tonight if you want to see it in your lifetime.
And if you're wondering where to set up shop to really soak up the stellar view, Georgia has so many mountain towns and state parks that are waiting for you.
Whether you go it alone or grab your bae for a unique date night, this list will give you a little inspo for a place to camp out and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Fort Mountain State Park
Price: $5 for parking
Address: 181 Fort Mountain Park Rd., Chatsworth, GA
Why You Need To Go: This park sits 2,850 feet above sea level, so you'll have a bit of a viewing advantage. There are plenty of places to lay out a blanket and social distance.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park
Price: $5 for parking
Address: 2970 GA-190, Pine Mountain, GA
Why You Need To Go: You can explore some of the trails that are located here before you find a nice open spot to lay and watch NEOWISE shoot across the sky.
Deerlick Astronomy Village
Price: Requires membership — price varies between $15 for students up to $50 for family packages.
Address: Deerlick Astronomy Village Grier's Field, Crawfordville, GA
Why You Need To Go: This spot is for those who want to stargaze whether you're a professional or an amateur. It's far away from bright city lights, so you'll have ample opportunity to see astronomical events.
Stephen C. Foster State Park
Price: $5 parking fee
Address: 17515 Hwy. 177, Fargo, GA
Why You Need To Go: You'll be surrounded by a wildlife refuge, so you know you'll be away from the city. According to EarthSky, this park has been designated as a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park.
Cooper's Creek WMA
Address: 8653 Mulkey Gap Rd., Suches, GA
Why You Need To Go: This area encompasses 30,000 acres, so there will be plenty of places to set up camp and view the night sky.
Address: 2941 Hwy. 180 Spur, Hiawassee, GA
Why You Need To Go: As the highest point in Georgia coming in at 4,784 feet above sea level, you're sure to have prime views at Brasstown Bald. There's an observation deck atop the visitor center that's the perfect place to stargaze.
Grab a blanket, sit back, relax, let your eyes get adjusted to the night sky, and enjoy the show.
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