If you've always dreamed of seeing the Northern lights, you had better act now — it looks like 2017 might be the .
Why? Never fear, the aurora borealis isn't disappearing for good, but it is going into a dormant phase, thanks to the weather forecast on the surface of the sun.
When the sun goes through a cycle of solar storms and flares, we see more active and spectacular Northern lights down below, particularly in the upper reaches of far-Northern countries like Norway. When the sun enjoys a calm spell, not so much.
For the next decade and change, , even in the farthest reaches of the Arctic. That's why it's time to hit the road, and to see the aurora borealis right now — or risk waiting until the next wave of solar storms kicks off ten years from now.
Here are the best places to spot the Northern lights in action right now.
Tromsø is a bustling Norwegian city situated above the Arctic circle. It's a major hub of the frozen northern terrain, and it also hosts an annual Northern lights festival. Because of its prime location in the "auroral oval," this is one of the best spots in the world for catching a few glimmers of iridescence.
Iceland is known for its magical, mesmerizing natural wonders. In Jokusarlon, stop by to take in the vast and beautiful glacial lagoon, then stick around to watch the aurora light up the sky.
This vast region in the Arctic territory of Nunavut is the largest island in Canada, but has a population of just 11,000. If you visit, you can expect pristine and largely isolated conditions for aurora-viewing, but not many creature comforts outside of the capital of I.
Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska after Anchorage, proves that you can still get a great view of the lights without trekking into the wilderness. Just north of the small city, you can get incredible views of the magic in action.
Scotland may not seem northerly enough to give visitors a good view of the aurora, but the city of Aberdeen and the remote Shetland Islands get excellent views of the lights during the winter. While you're in town, you might get the chance to sample other local specialties, like vivid tartans and delicious cuisine.