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Meteor Showers Guide 2015

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See the Almanac's Meteor Showers Guide for 2015 for the dates of all the principal meteor showers during the year—plus viewing tips.

Meteor Showers Viewing Tips

  • To answer the most common question: Yes, you can see these meteor showers from ANYWHERE in the sky, provided it's clear and dark, away from all the city lights. Bright moonlight, within a few days of a full Moon, will also spoil the view, reducing the number of meteors that you will see.
  • Where to look? The best place to start is between the radiant and the zenith (straight above you). The radiant is where the meteors appear to start from, such as the constellation Perseus from which the Perseids appear to radiate.
  • When to look? The time of the year for each shower is determined by when Earth in its orbit crosses the stream of meteoroids. On the chart below, see the "date of maximum," which shows when meteor showers will be the strongest.
  • Note that the "best viewing" times are usually predawn and late evening. In nearly all showers, the radiant is highest just before dawn. (The Geminids are visible all night long, since Gemini arises just an hour or two after nightfall; the radiant is highest a little after midnight.) Sporadic meteors (unrelated to a shower) can be seen on any night, but increase in frequency after midnight and peak just before dawn.
  • Starting around midnight, your location on the globe spins around to the forward-facing half of Earth (in relation to the direction of orbit). At dawn, your location on the globe directly faces the direction in which Earth is traveling along its orbit. So between midnight and dawn, you'll be viewing the meteors head-on, for a more frequent display.
  • You don't need any special equipment. In fact, binoculars do not work for meteor showers. The naked eye is best.
  • Spread a blanket on the ground and look up in the dark night sky.

For more information, click here to read our article, "What are Meteor Showers: Facts About Shooting Stars."

2015 Meteor Showers Guide

Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year.

2012 Meteor shower chart

  • "Predawn" means an hour or so before morning twilight. Best time to view most major showers.
  • "Late evening" means approximately between 10 p.m. and midnight (or a little past).

In general, most major meteor showers are best seen after midnight; some do not even appear until after then. Usually, a better time to see them is after 2 a.m., and the best time is about an hour or so just before morning twilight. Geminids, however, can be seen starting earlier, such as around 9 or 10 p.m., until morning twilight. Sometimes Draconids may be visible at nightfall through early evening.

See the monthly Sky Watch for highlights of the night sky and a printable sky map!

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Comments

My son is 5, and got to see

By B. Butler

My son is 5, and got to see the Perseids meteor shower! He loved it! In April of 1997 I saw the HaileBop comet! It looked loke a giant dimond with dimond dust trailing it! That was the most ENCHANTING creation I had ever seen in my life!!!!

Is there any chance that

By Anita Danna

Is there any chance that Perseid will continue the night of 8/12 into the morning of 8/13? and be visible in Florida?

Yes, the Perseids will

By Almanac Staff

Yes, the Perseids will continue until late August — but the show peaked from late on the 11th through the early hours of the 12th.

Hi I live in Houston TX and

By Koblitz

Hi I live in Houston TX and when is the best time exactly to see the perseid meteor shower?

The best time to observe the

By Almanac Staff

The best time to observe the Perseids is between midnight and sunrise; that's when the Earth will be colliding head-on with the meteor stream.

What time would be best to

By V.bruce

What time would be best to watch the meteor shower in southern Califorina?

The best time to observe the

By Almanac Staff

The best time to observe the Perseids is between midnight and sunrise; that's when the Earth will be colliding head-on with the meteor stream.

I have watched the Perseid

By rdmbck6

I have watched the Perseid meteor shower for years and it is a yearly event here with a few friends.

Just wanted to know if there

By Mr Knoxville

Just wanted to know if there were any meteor showers visible in New Jersey coming up

Yes, you can see any of the

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can see any of the meteor showers in the chart above in New Jersey, provided you have a dark sky. The Perseids are coming up!

I am so excited! I have never

By Faith Steele

I am so excited! I have never seen anything more than shooting star and I'm like 11. It will probably be especially easy to see where I'm from, which is Grantsville, four mile radias and no building bigger than the elementry school. I think this is gonna be great!!!!!!!

I just saw a comet in the sky

By CJplus3

I just saw a comet in the sky on my way home from my in-law's, and was curious if the meteor shower due to show tonight would be visible from New Hampshire? Was my first time ever seeing a shooting star or comet or meteor or anything, and it was breathtaking :)

Perhaps you mean you saw a

By Stargezer

Perhaps you mean you saw a meteor. The comets I have witnessed during the63 years or so have all been rather faint and one would need to stare in their general direction and concentrate to see them. Meteors,on the other-hand, unexpectedly streak across the sky and grab ones attention.

Hey, this is amazing. I saw

By charlottebeckster

Hey, this is amazing. I saw something I thought was a comet across between 9:30 and 10:00 on Sunday night. I have seen falling stars several times in my life and to me the seemed to fall in downward motion but this seem to be going horizonally across the sky as blazing ball with a tail until it faded out of view. I live in North Caroina. I just happened to see it while sitting out on the porch talking on the phone. I stayed out for hours watching the sky hoping to see something again. I have never seen an event like this before in 45 years of life. Ihave always been somewhat of a sky watcher, but have seemed to miss out on seeing the night sky in the past few years. It definitely is a sight worth a second glance. Amazing!!! :)

You saw a Delta Aquarid

By Almanac Staff

You saw a Delta Aquarid meteor. The Delta Aquarid and Perseid meteor showers in late July and August are the most reliable meteor showers in the Northern Hemisphere.
After midnight to dawn on July 28-30 was the best viewing of the Delta Aquarid meteors.

Fantastic to see a comet!

By Almanac Staff

Fantastic to see a comet! Congrats! Unfortunately, in 2012, the almost-full Moon will probably wash out this lightweight meteor shower--which is best seen from the Southern Hemisphere.

Hi good morning ...my son 10

By AnonymousYvonnie

Hi good morning ...my son 10 years old and he want to see the shower We are are from italy and we want to see the exact time and date here in italy july 30 and augost please here in europe italy what time at night and the date ..thank you very much for your kindness... Hoping to see my son thank and god bless

My wife and I live about 30

By AnonymousJason and Kynda

My wife and I live about 30 minutes south of San Antonio, TX and are wanting to know when the best time for us to try and see the Halley comet Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be and what direction we should be looking? Can anyone help us out please?

I'm not sure which direction,

By M.

I'm not sure which direction, but a friend of mine said that it'll start sometime between 2 and 3 AM, and SpaceWeather.com says that the best time to watch would be before tomorrow's sunrise.

What is exactly time named

By Marina Sa

What is exactly time named "predawn" and "late evening"? When exactly should I observe the stars? Is "late evening" be after midnigt, e.d. 'tomorrow', next date?

Predawn: an hour or so before

By Almanac Staff

Predawn: an hour or so before morning twilight. Best time to view most major showers.
Late evening: approximately between 10 pm and midnight (or a little past).
In general, most major meteor showers are best seen after midnight; some do not even appear until after then. Usually, a better time to see them is after 2 a.m., and the best time is about an hour or so just before morning twilight.
Geminids, however, can be seen starting earlier, such as around 9 or 10 pm, until morning twilight.
Sometimes Draconids may be visible at nightfall through early evening.

One autumn morning in late

By brian l. burns

One autumn morning in late 1994 I woke up at 3:00 am to drive an hour for work at a near by town. I was driving out on my dirt road where I was able to vveiw an enormous fir ball which was probably an orphan meteor. It was so bright it light up the road and my car like bright day and I thought it would crash on me so I stopped the car. To begin it was very irredescent blue then faded toa warm pinkish red and then disapeared leaving and faint red tail. Was so exciting to see. I thought I would share this with you. Thank you Brian

Thanks for sharing, Brian!

By Almanac Staff

Thanks for sharing, Brian! That's a once-in-a-lifetime sighting!

I've been a Seattle "city"

By Janberi

I've been a Seattle "city" girl most of my life. In 2006 we moved to the "country" in eastern Washington State. I have never seen anything as spectacular as I did at 11:20pm on September 9, 2010.(I even marked my calendar in case this is an annual event)
I was gazing at the eastern sky, when a huge bright green "fireball" with a very long tail passed before my eyes traveling in a northerly direction. I was absolutely "star-struck" to say the least! What did I witness? I googled everything that I could think of, but I have never been given any inkling of what I may have witnessed. Most of the folks that I tell my story to just kind of say "oh really" or they blow me off.
Do you have any idea of what I witnessed that night?
I take my dog on late night walks on our property and am always on the lookout for the beautiful star shows. Ideas, Please? Thank You.

it was probely a comet

By hello0214567

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

By hello0214567

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

By hello0214567

it was probely a comet

Your description sounds like

By Stargezer

Your description sounds like you witnesses a Bolide
The word bolide comes from the Greek βολίς (bolis) [14] which can mean a missile or to flash. The term generally applies to fireballs reaching magnitude −14 or brighter.[15] Astronomers tend to use "bolide" to identify an exceptionally bright fireball, particularly one that explodes (sometimes called a detonating fireball). It may also be used to mean a fireball which creates audible sounds.

Sounds to me like you got to

By sichting

Sounds to me like you got to witness a view of the Northern Lights

A few months ago, I found a

By Kyle

A few months ago, I found a rock that looked like a meteorite. Then, I think a week ago, I looked it up online and found out it was a meteorite but, I did a little more research and found out it was a Lunar Meteorite!!! I'm also hoping I will see some some meteors when I go out with my telescope again!

Wondering why your rates do

By schumway

Wondering why your rates do not match those published by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada nor do they even match your USA counter part http://www.farmersalmanac.com/meteor-showers/?
I did send along the details but have not heard anything other than looking at your site 4 months later the details are still not updated.

Our source for the meteor

By Almanac Staff

Our source for the meteor showers listed in the Almanac is the American Meteor Society (AMS). See: http://www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/meteor-faq/
See # 7 on that page. We've picked a moonless, rural sky, which is different from an absolutely dark sky (which might see over 100). We note this on the meteor shower page in the printed Almanac and also under the chart on this page.

I have a nephew who loves

By Wrobin52

I have a nephew who loves watching the night sky. We would like to know if there will be a meteor shower in Florida in June or July, and what time is the best time to watch meteor showers? Thank you for your time. My nephew is 9 year old. Wanda

Hi

By Tommy929373

Hi

I live in North Carolina, and

By dlm1978

I live in North Carolina, and it was around 4:35 am Monday morning when I saw a bright mint green light fall from sky heading towards trees, it scared me so I turned my head so I don't know what happened I was headed north coming from youngsville heading towards franklinton.

I saw this. Was just

By rpalmer1rr

I saw this. Was just checking to see if anyone else did. It seemed a little later, like 5:00 am. I was headed to work on I-71, toward Columbus, Ohio. Saw it kinda west to eat. Same minty color.

My mom said that it was a

By dlm1978

My mom said that it was a comet. idk, that was my first time seeing anything like that. I haven't heard anything on the news about others seeing it.

If you could see it moving,

By ormewood

If you could see it moving, it wasn't a comet. It was probably a meteor.

Hi Wanda, the meteor showers

By Almanac Staff

Hi Wanda, the meteor showers for this summer will be the Delta Aquarid and the Perseid, in July and August, both visible from Florida. Please see the chart above. Thanks!

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