Meteor Shower Calendar 2018

2018 Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

Meteor Shower-Taurid, by Channone Arif-Wikimedia Commons

Is there a meteor shower tonight, or should you only hope to see a few falling stars (sporadic meteors)?

Channone Arif: Wikimedia Commons

When is the next meteor shower? See the Almanac’s 2018 Meteor Showers Calendar for the dates of all the principal meteor showers during the year, plus meteor shower viewing tips.

The most common question is “Where can I see the meteor showers?”

The answer is: ANYWHERE in the sky!  Yes, for this celestial wonder, your specific location does not matter.

And the next question is “When can I see the meteor showers?”

The answer is:  Most showers are midnight to dawn.  Yes, it’s for you night owls or early risers. However, the famous Geminids are all night and some showers happen late evening. See the chart below.

Meteor Shower Viewing Tips

  • For everyone, weather conditions and light pollution are the only reasons you can not see the showers. The sky needs to be dark and clear, away from all the city lights. Bright moonlight, within a few days of a full Moon, will also reduce 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 Perseid meteor showers appear to radiate.
  • When to look? The time of the year for each shower is determined by when in Earth’s orbit it 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 Geminid meteor showers 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 and commonly called shooting stars) 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.”

2018 Meteor Showers Calendar

Is there a meteor shower tonight? When is the next meteor shower? 

Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year.  Find viewing tips for the two “biggies” here: the Perseid Meteor Shower and the Geminid Meteor Shower.

Principal Meteor Showers
SHOWER BEST VIEWING POINT OF ORIGIN DATE OF MAXIMUM* NO. PER HOUR ASSOCIATED COMET
Quadrantid Predawn N Jan. 4 25
Lyrid Predawn S Apr. 22 10 Thatcher
Eta Aquarid Predawn SE May 4 10 Halley
Delta Aquarid Predawn S July 30 10
Perseid Predawn NE Aug. 11–13 50 Swift-Tuttle
Draconid Late evening NW Oct. 9 6 Giacobini-Zinner
Orionid Predawn S Oct. 21–22 15 Halley
Taurid Late evening S Nov. 9 3 Encke
Leonid Predawn S Nov. 17–18 10 Tempel-Tuttle
Andromedid Late evening S Nov. 25–27 5 Biela
Geminid All night NE Dec. 13–14 75
Ursid Predawn N Dec. 22 5 Tuttle
*May vary by one or two days    **Moonless, rural sky    Bold = most prominent
  • “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!

Reader Comments

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Huge falling star

Tonight at around 8.20pm in northern Tasmania, looking South east I saw a large, greenish falling star over the Tamar River. Did anyone else spot it?

Falling star or Comet

About 10:00 pm in WV I see what looked like a comet or Astroid was a huge object that was lit up for about 3 Seconds never seen anything like this

Falling Star

My friend and i also saw the "Falling star" between 9 and 10 oclock on 6/18/18 in Maryland. It lasted several seconds , long enough for my friend to point at it and say ," what the hell is that ! " LOl it appeared close to the earth traveling west to east . It looked yellow , golden , to me , beautiful:) very bright , wide and detailed.

Huge falling star?

In Hayward, CA at around 9pm PDT; Viewed a rather large flying object from the South sky to the SW sky at an altitude of about 25 deg. with a straight slightly downward trajectory. It was bright green, had a fairly short tail. It looked like a flare or firework, but it traveled in a straight line, no arc to it.

Huge falling star?

Shawn, I saw something similar tonight 6/18/18 around 8:45 - 9:00 PM in the southwest sky over Woodside. It was huge, pale green, with very little if any tail. It appeared to be at a low altitude, closer to Earth than any meteor I've ever seen, and it traveled slowly. I saw it for a good 3 - 4 seconds before it dropped behind the hill. It was quite beautiful.

The biggest I’ve ever seen!

About 20 mins ago 1:30 AM south central PA. I would guess a meteor but, it was really wide and very bright. Could it have been a hunk of space junk?! I’m no expert but love star watching. It flew by Cassiopeia.

Meteor

Jamil: Don't know if what you were expecting was around Az. but at 9:42 p.m. I saw one of the larger meteor's that I have seen in N.M. traveling over your ranch from NE to SW this was quite large and broke up into many pieces very nice. it traveled from central west N.M. to around Flagstaff direction. I see a lot of things in the sky out here, this was memorable... P.S. the other places that I saw many thing in the night was Fiji where I was born and raised then to Hawai'i and then Kenya & Tanzania, now landlocked in N.M. Hoz

The biggest star star I've ever seen

My husband and I are sailing from Fiji to a french polynesian island called Wallis and Futuna and about 9pm 11 june 2018 we both saw a huge fire ball ,falling-star/meteoroid? All i can say is...WOW! It was incredible.

Do you have photos for the event seen

Dear Liana, I hope you are great.
I wonder of you have any photos or film documented what you have seen
Could you please describe what you have seen exactly, I am expecting a big event in 11th of June, This may be the event.
Please send me on my enclosed email
my regards and best wishes
Jamil

No photo's

Hi Jamil, Sorry, I don't have any photos, just some awesome memories.
About 9pm MY husband are I were both out in the cockpit looking out for the last of the local fishing boats still out trolling/fishing at that time of night. ?We saw this huge flash in the sky… brighter and longer than a flash of lightning, and the biggest fireball. It made me feel very small and insignificant. Mother-nature, wow! I wonder if anyone in the world caught it on camera?

Green "falling star"

Saw green "falling star" in San Antonio Texas about 15 minutes ago driving down Culebra Rd.

Just saw 2 within 30min in Thornton co.

It is 10:00 p.m. in Colorado. Bolth meteoroids went across 1/4 of my view. Lasted a good 1 1/2 seconds. They were bright white with a tan color. What also was cool they were so bright you could see the smoke trail behind them. This was on 6/4/2018.

just saw a shooting star bne time at 6.45 pm

just saw a shooting star bne time at 6.45 pm
has anyone else saw it?

Astrology

Saw jupiter 5 days back at 8pm in India. Sky was clear and only one star was visible and bright i was pretty sure its a planet. To confirm my findings I googled and came to know it was jupiter

Jupiter sighting

Jupiter is indeed very big and bright at the moment. It is, once more, one of brightest star-like objects in the sky; it comes and goes in cycles (of around 5 years, I seem to recall). During each cycle, Jupiter gets progressively closer and brighter for a couple of years until it can be seen and identified easily even through city lights. Right now (just before dawn in the UK) it's visible in the skies almost due west, and it 'shines' in a distinctive orangey- brick colour.
Around dawn and dusk wherever you are on the Earth, Venus may also appear in the skies- always in roughly the direction of the rising\setting sun. When Venus is visible, it will be by far the brightest star-like thing in the sky. Even when Jupiter is it it's closest and brightest, Venus will outshine it by far. Venus will only be visible for an hour or so in the morning (Look East), then for an hour or so in the evening (look West). Venus' light is so much whiter and brighter than anything else, that once you've seen it, it'll be unmistakable in the future.
About a week ago, the moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars all appeared close together in the sky, all easily visible with the naked eye. When Venus appeared over the horizon, twinkling intensely as it does, for a brief while I could clearly see 5 of the planets in our Solar system, as if lined up together in the sky, next to the roughly 3\4 moon. One by one they 'disappeared' from sight as the sun rose, but Ive never seen that much of the solar system at once before, and especially not so close together and so readily identifiable. The feeling of awe and wonder, seeing Mother Earth and her sisters in perspective as part of a family, was incredible, but made me feel smaller and more insignificant than ever!

Large bright fast streak in night sky

Sudbury Ontario Canada saw this around 12 am on May 7th in the East

Shooting star over Montreal,Quebec

12:05
Saw my first shooting star at 35yrs old... near in the city .. big one felt very close ! just waw

Shooting Blue Comet and Star

Saw what I believe was a bright light blue comet quickly fall and disappear within seconds around midnight. Later around 04:20am sighted a shooting star 1.5 seconds visible. Decided to check the internet and see if anyone reported anything...and stumbled upon this sight and commenting.

Live in Las Vegas, NV

Forgot to write I'm in Las Vegas, NV USA!

I just saw a shooting star at

I just saw a shooting star at 10pm from my place Kajang , Malaysia

Shooting star

Seen one 2:13am Kermit Wv!

falling star

At 12:10on a falling star was spotted manila time on qc

Green fireworks explode

This morning around 5:25 am (roughly) near Mount Laurel, Virginia, I saw a bright streak of green. It slid down quickly then burst onto sparkling green pieces. I thought wow, pretty awesome.it was so quick and bright.

Comets;

I have seen nice sights too; watching Venus set last night was "an experience the sky was so clear"; I do not know why meteors are "green";

Re:comets

They're not all green. I think the colour depends on what the shooting star is made of (ie comet fragments are usually just ice and dust, whereas meteors are typically rocks, usually with quite high levels of metal content). Fireworks are made to burn in different colours by adding different metals. Each metal basically burns with a different coloured flame. Id imagine the green colour of the shooting star you saw was made in a similar way.

Comets 1950 Conn.

Around the 1950's; there was a Comet visible East Coast; My Dad woke us at 3 am to see it; I could see the Comet near the Horizon; this was the type of person my Dad was; he and his Brother Tom liked Astronomy; Uncle Tom from MA met Neil Armstrong at Textile Mill Museum.

Comets;

There were three visible Comets in the early 1960's when I was about 10; I could see the Comet;(I did not need my Dad's Binoculars); "Fun";

Comets; 1960's;

Actually my Uncle Thomas met Scott Carpenter at the North Andover MA Mill & Textile Museum; I hope to go there this summer; Anne'51;

View

I saw a meteorite Momday 12:16am in michigan city Indiana shooting down towards Walmart

Shooting Star and a white owl

Saw a white owl sitting and few seconds later a shooting star in the opposite direction. Both are a rare occurrence as far as i am concerned.
Date - 11th April 2018, Time - minute or two before 2 AM, India time.

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