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 Shower 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 type of 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, they’re for you night owls or early risers. However, the famous Geminids are all night and some showers do happen in the late evening. See the chart below.

2018 Meteor Shower 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!

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 into the dark night sky.

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

Reader Comments

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meteor sighted Grass Valley Ca. Nov. 8th 9pm

Driving home on hwy 49 so.bound. saw slow streaming meteor cross the sky. It was in view about 2 seconds. very bright and beautiful!

Night-time anomaly

Viewing from Toledo,OH looking to the West (i believe)
Seen a quick glimpse of a falling star or something fall the atmosphere. Its a day early for the predicted meteor shower but was pretty.

Fireball falling in Westerly sky 08 Nov 2018 7:45 PM

Viewing westerly Sky looking from North Monroeville towards Bellevue , Ohio. l seen a fireball falling from the sky. I have seen shooting stars before but this was much larger. Very beautiful.

Meteor/shooting star

I live about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. I seen the meteor about 11:30 times pm . Bright white with blue on the outside ring. Only lasted 2 seconds. Was this about the time you seen It?

Meteor landed within 1 mile from me

I live in Sykesville pa and just saw a large meteor fall right in front of me. I've seen 3 in the past 4 years but this is the first one I've actually heard flying through the air. It appeared to be as big as a box truck, bright white light and sizzling like a hot dog cooking over a fire. I did not get to see where it exactly landed but it was very close and I am glad it didn't land on my house or car!

Meteorite/Falling star

Justin,
I saw the same in Wauseon approximately 7:45 p.m. looking in the west while driving. It took me off guard as a large light came down from the sky which appeared to have a greenish color around it. It was beautiful, even though it startled me.

Meteorite/Falling star

Justin,
I saw the same in Wauseon approximately 7:45 p.m. looking in the west while driving. It took me off guard as a large light came down from the sky which appeared to have a greenish color around it. It was beautiful, even though it startled me.

In October of 2014 shower, anyone else seen?

More a question... I saw in October of 2014 a shooting star.. or ?... That appeared to make a corkscrew type desent into the amospheare leaving behind it a corkscrew trail. Has anyone else ever seen anything like that? Or is there possibly another explanation for it? Michael S..

Shooting stars!

It's 8:05 cst n in the southern sky here in south Louisiana I saw two shooting stars in the last 15 mins!

Shooting Star

I was coming to work this morning in Hayward CA. As I turned to go into the yard, I saw a shooting start straight ahead of me. It was the first one I have ever seen and it was beautiful!

Shooting Stars

About 4.30 this morning Alfie (our dog) needed to go out so took him into the garden (West Wales) and was lucky enough to see two shooting stars within a couple of minutes. It is very dark where we live and the sky was so full of stars - just wonderful.

Meteor Shower

The Draconid shower is in full force tonight, mostly clear dark skies tonight on the very southern end of Dauphin Island, Al. We ave enjoyed at least 15-20 one very bright with tail, starting at 9:00 ish until about 10:30. Pre tropical storm weather has created windy conditions and thin clouds. Amazing sky tonight

The Quick White ball

Approximately at 10:11, in Oxon Hill, MD I saw a fast white ball race through the sky when I was looking at the sky. I made a wish.

Oct 8,2018

We saw a large triangular meteor falling last night in northern Arizona from I-40 headed West toward Flagstaff at 945 pm. It lasted more than 45 seconds. It was moving slowly enough that we had time to decide it was a meteor with a huge tail and still had time to enjoy it as it came down and then slowly went out.

Oct 4

I saw a orangish colored one about the size of a baseball pass by,it was beautiful very bright at first and as it passed it died out, never seen one quite like that,and to mention the first time I ever seen one was about 3yrs ago for the first time and I'm 36 yrs old.crazy huh

Time

It was around 845-9pm

Shooting Star

My son and I saw a very bright and one of the largest shooting stars I have personally ever seen on our way home this evening. The time was approximately 1920 hours.

Forgot

Forgot to post that it was in the northern Clarksville TN area. Originally thought it was falling debris or plane due to how large and bright it was but it fizzled out just as quickly as we saw it.

Bright greenish-blue streak over SC 9/23/18

My son and I saw a bright greenish-blue streak through the sky around 12:30 or 1am. We saw the streak, then what I thought was the ending, looked like it exploded, then streaked again. _____+_____. AWESOME. REALLY BRIGHT.

Shooting star

Saw large, clear shooting star north to south 9:15pm on 9/15/18 Bradenton,Fl north of SR 70, Weat of I-75

HUGE falling star?

Saw THE BIGGEST falling star I've ever seen in my life! Around 9:00 PM in Salem Oregon. It was so big I thought it was a plane on fire, but it fizzled out quickly.

White Ball of Light

Last night around 10:00-10:45 I seen around ball of white light fall over the house it was so bright it hurt my eyes, it fell fast but flashed white and then yellow and was gone. I really don't know what I witnessed but it was amazing,NovaScotia

We saw the same, under

We saw the same, under Southern NJ sky. A huge white, bright light, huge flash, then just gone!
Mrs. Joy Carter
Bridgeton, NJ.

DATE***

Sorry, the date we saw the big ball flash out, was September 25, 2018.
Joy Carter.
Bridgeton NJ

My post

I’m trying to find my post so I can write the date on my calendar.. where is it? Do u have the post documentation, at least?

Meteorite?

Santa Rosa Beach, FL around 11 PM on the 6th A round orange colored ball passed trough the trees as it was coming down. It was about the size of a basketball. Anyone else see it? Was that a meteorite?

what does a meteorite look like?

It could be. Meteorites flying through the atmosphere get red-hot because of the friction. They look like a blazing fireball. By the time they land, they’re just 90% of their original size so it cools down and looks like a rock.

Just like Aug 3 2018! So big so BRIGHT!

Around 10pm in Houston Texas , I was outside with my pup Fern and this huge & extremely bright ...I’m assuming meteorite , it came from the south traveling north until it faded out ...it was so bright & seemed to have colors of blue green & yellow with a white tail ...

Dude I saw that same one from

Dude I saw that same one from San Antonio. It was soooooo big! Unlike any thing I've ever seen

big fat meteor 1030pm

happened to catch tail end of it - I watch perseids every year but this thing was very wide compared to the meteors I've seen
30% off south horizon 1030pm est from peterborough ont canada
space junk?
too early to be a delta aquarid?

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