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Meteor Showers Guide 2014

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See the Almanac's Meteor Showers Guide for 2014 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."

2014 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

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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