This winter, head north and bring your warm hat and mittens with you as you watch the stunning Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, vividly light up the sky.
Due to the recent sun activity, the display should be brighter and more intense than in previous years.
“Recent observations of sunspots, a measure of how active the sun is, show a dramatic increase from this time last year, and we are approaching the expected peak of the 11-year solar cycle in 2024 or 2025,” New Scientist reported.
“This means that over the next few months in the Northern Hemisphere, the Northern Lights will probably be stronger than they have been for at least a decade.”
With that in mind, now may be the time to pack your bags and get a close look at the dancing waves of light — but where should you go to capture the magic?
Northern Lights in America
If you don’t want to break out your passport this season to take in the views, here are a few options located right here in the U.S. that will not disappoint.
Check these out.
Fairbanks, Alaska, is not only one of the best places in the country to view the vivid light display — it’s one of the best locations in the world.
“Because of its location within the auroral oval and dark skies, Alaska is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, and lucky for American travelers, you don’t even need a passport to get there,” Travel and Leisure shared.
The aurora oval is a “a ring-shaped region hovering over the far north where Northern Lights activity is concentrated,” according to travelalaska.com.
The view of the lights can be seen from just about anywhere in Fairbanks which means you can enjoy a magical display as you drive late into night.
Lake Superior, Michigan
Michigan is a great place to view the Northern Lights when in the U.S., specifically near Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula.
The state has two important factors that make it such a great location for taking in the sights: latitude and low light pollution.
“The Upper Peninsula is blessed with hundreds of miles of shoreline along the south shore of Lake Superior, which provides some of the best Northern Lights viewing in the lower 48 due to the very dark night skies,” Pure Michigan shared online.
“When looking north over Lake Superior, one can see right down to the horizon and take in a 180-degree unobstructed view of the night sky.”
Priest Lake, Idaho
In far-northern Idaho, you can find Priest Lake, which has become a major spot for aurora hunters.
“Priest Lake, in far-northern Idaho, has been my most reliable and rewarding location for viewing the northern lights,” Visit Idaho stated.
The marina will also join in on the fun by turning out the lights, so enthusiasts can get a good look at the night sky.
Northern Lights in Europe
If you don’t mind planning a holiday getaway this winter, take a quick trip across the pond to see the Aurora Borealis from these unbelievable sights.
When picturing the landscape surrounding the Northern Lights, you probably imagine something exactly like Tromso, Norway, which is why it is widely considered one of the top places to see the Aurora Borealis.
Tromso is the third largest city north of the Arctic Circle. It “lies just within the Northern Lights Oval, the region above Earth’s geomagnetic North Pole, where aurora displays are most likely to occur,” according to Space.com.
The spectacular display is visible from September through April.
You will not miss out on taking in the beauty of the sky when in Tromso, thanks to the many travel sites and guides that offer aurora chases.
Sweden has become a top place to view the dancing lights in the Northern Hemisphere; the Lapland region, in particular, is the most popular.
“Abisko in Swedish Lapland is not only within the aurora circle, but also the mountains surrounding it keep the sky clear with little light pollution,” Swedish Lapland posted online.
In Abisko you will find the Aurora Sky Station. It has an observation tower and experts available to answer any questions about the display, the Space Tourism Guide shared.
One of the most unique places to see the magnificent Northern Lights display is found at the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland.
“Jokulsarlon’s secluded location ensures minimal light pollution, providing the perfect setting to witness the stunning colors of the Aurora Borealis,” said Arctic Adventures.
” Jokulsarlon’s Northern Lights are best observed in the early morning and late night when darkness is at its strongest.
The time of the year and day can be important when deciding whether to view Iceland’s Northern Lights.
Tips for Northern Lights sightings
When it comes to seeing the magical dancing lights in the sky, there are a few factors that you may want to take into account in order to maximize your viewing pleasure.
When the geomagnetic field is active, the aurora will be brighter, stronger and further from the magnetic poles, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).
The best time to view the Northern Lights occurs when the planet K index is between 8 and 9 while the aurora is moving towards the equator. This is also stated on the website of the Weather Service.
There are so many places across the world to view the vivid display, but you’ll want to make sure to find a location that has no obstructions.
Aim to find a place that has minimal tree lines or hills so that the northern horizon can be fully seen.
Go at night, away from the city lights, in order to capture the best view of the Aurora Borealis.
“The full moon will also diminish the apparent brightness of the aurora (not the actual brightness),” the SWPC continued.
The Northern Lights are usually on full display from September to March or April, but the best time to see the lights are in the late evening or early morning.
“Best aurora is usually within an hour or two of midnight (between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time),” the SWPC reported.
“There may be aurora in the evening and morning, but it is usually not as active and therefore, not as visually appealing.”
The post Northern Lights: Here are the best tips to help you spot the stunning display in the US and abroad appeared first on Fox News.