Meteor Shower Calendar 2021: When Is the Next Meteor Shower?

Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

By Bob Berman
December 31, 2020
Meteor Shower

When is the next meteor shower? Our Meteor Shower Calendar for 2021 has dates for all the principal meteor showers—plus viewing tips from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Catch a shooting star!

2021 Meteor Shower Calendar

The dates of major meteor showers do not change much from year to year, though the peak (or “maximum”) of a shower may vary by a day or two. We’ve listed these peak dates in the table below, along with the average number of meteors to expect to see per hour (in prime conditions) and the best viewing time for each shower. More detailed information about each meteor shower can be found below the table.

Find viewing tips for the two biggest meteor showers 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. 2-3 25
Lyrid Predawn S Apr. 21-22 10 Thatcher
Eta Aquarid Predawn SE May 4-5 10 Halley
Delta Aquarid Predawn S July 28-29 10
Perseid Predawn NE Aug. 11-12 50 Swift-Tuttle
Draconid Late evening NW Oct. 9-10 6 Giacobini-Zinner
Orionid Predawn S Oct. 20-21 15 Halley
Northern Taurid Late evening S Nov. 11-12 3 Encke
Leonid Predawn S Nov. 16-17 10 Tempel-Tuttle
Andromedid Late evening S Nov. 25-27 5 Biela
Geminid All night NE Dec. 13-14 75
Ursid Predawn N Dec. 21-22 5 Tuttle
*May vary by one or two days    **Moonless, rural sky    Bold = most prominent
  • “Predawn” means between midnight and about an hour before morning twilight. Best time to view most major showers.
  • “Late evening” means approximately between 10 p.m. and midnight (or a little past).

Meteor Showers of 2021

Quadrantids | January 2-3, 2021

In the right conditions, the Quadrantids are one of the best meteor showers of the year, as they feature an average of 25 meteors per hour at their peak. Unfortunately, the Quadrantids’ peak is quite short, lasting only from midnight to dawn. In any case, their peak date this year coincides with a bright waning gibbous Moon, which makes it difficult to see the falling meteors.

Lyrids | April 21-22, 2021

The Lyrids reach their peak on the night of April 21-22, 2021, when you can expect to see an average of 10 meteors per hour in dark, clear skies between midnight and dawn. This meteor shower is visible from both the northern and southern hemisphere, but is much more active in the northern hemisphere, where the meteors’ radiant is high in the sky. This year, the Moon will be in a waxing gibbous phase during the Lyrids’ peak, so the best viewing will be between moonset and dawn on April 22.

Stay tuned as we add more meteor showers to the list!

Perseid meteor shower

Meteor Showers Viewing Tips

  • The most common question is “Where can I see the meteor showers?” The answer is: ANYWHERE in the sky! During a meteor shower, meteors can appear at any location, not just near their radiant. (The radiant is the location in the sky from which the paths of meteors in a meteor shower appear to originate, from our perspective on Earth. For example, the constellation Perseus is the radiant for the Perseids meteor shower; constellation Leo, the Leonids.) As far as viewing location on Earth, several major meteor showers can be seen in both Hemispheres, but others might be better seen in one or the other, depending on how far above or below the horizon the radiant is located. The Ursids, for example, are essentially seen only in the Northern Hemisphere, as the radiant is too far north of the equator for good viewing in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • When are meteor showers? See the chart above for “date of maximum,” which lists the peak of each meteor shower (when the shooting stars will be most frequent). The time of the year for each shower is determined by when in Earth’s orbit it crosses the stream of meteoroids.
  • What time can I see the meteor showers? See the chart above for the best viewing time. In nearly all showers, the radiant is highest just before dawn, but any time beween midnight and dawn gives you a view of most meteors head-on, for a more frequent display. 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. 
    • Note: the Geminid meteor shower is visible all night long, since Gemini appears just an hour or two after nightfall; the radiant is highest a little after midnight. 
  • Where to look? The best place to start is between the radiant and the zenith (straight above you in the sky). (Once again, the radiant is where the meteors appear to start from.) See the “point of origin” above. 
  • How to look? You don’t need any special equipment. In fact, binoculars do not work well for meteor showers. The naked eye is your best tool!

Dark Skies, Clear Skies Needed!

  • The sky needs to be dark, away from all the city lights. Try to get to a viewing site as far as possible from bright lights. This may require planning—for a country drive or a campout.
  • Bright moonlight, within a few days of a full Moon will reduce the number of meteors that you will see. Check our Full Moon Chart.
  • Obviously, the weather needs to cooperate so that the skies are clear.
  • Look for a location with a wide-open view of the sky, free from obstructions like tall trees or buildings.
  • Spend about 20 minutes outside for your eyes to fully adjust to the darkness of the night sky.
  • Spead a blanket on the ground and get cozy!

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

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Reader Comments

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Beautiful sight

I was driving home around 9 pm and witnessed a green looking fire ball with a red tail falling from the sky in Northeast Iowa on Dec. 2nd, 2019.

Falling Star

Witnessed a bright meteorite that broke into two burning pieces just before landfall in Northwest Oklahoma City about 9:15 pm last night while traveling north on I-44 a few miles south of the I-40 interchange.

Shooting Star

witnessed a shooting star this morning around 230am while walking to the car i happen to look up at the sky a seen the brightest shooting star i have ever seen with a long tail in Charlotte,NC it was amazing i had to make a wish

witnessed - something

At 2:19 am central, I saw, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a spectacular "light show" in the NNW. It was not the small specks of a meteor shower, but rather like the 'down arc' of a fireworks - with a long, continuous trail of sparks, which disappeared into the horizon very quickly. Fireworks are doubtful at that hour on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning in 6° C. It was amazing and, of course, i made a wish. Any other sightings?

Meteor (falling star)

September 13, 2019
Just witnessed a falling star with a lengthy tail that extinguished just before the horizon due north during a showery night in North West Ontario 1 km south of the junction Hwy 125 and Hwy 105 at almost exactly 9:30 pm CT during the Harvest Full moon on Friday 13th ( first time in 20 years ! )- I witnessed the moon later from home at 11:00 pm CT.

Just saw the BRIGHTEST shooting star

I feel like a little kid right now I'm so excited still. I just happened to look up while on my porch at about 230am in Tewksbury MA and saw a very bright white star shoot across the sky! It looked like it was much closer than all of the other shooting stars I've seen that seem to fade fast and leave a very thin trail but this one was much thicker and was so bright! So happy I found this site. It's going to be my go to now to help add a little something to my nights. Can't wait till my girls get a little older and see their first one.

Falling star

Last night Friday 23/8 having just arrived at hotel in inner city Sydney I could not believe what I saw in twilight sky. I thought it was a falling ball of a plane on fire due to size and the tail behind it. It had burnt out within my sighting it but the tail remained for a little time after

thank you

thanks for the update, the yearly meteor showers are an even I always wait for. thanks for the interesting article. Let's unite the planets!

Meteor sighting at 11:04 pm eastern sky tail of red then green

Meteor sighting at 11:04 pm eastern sky from Long Island, New York, USA, trail of red then green then yellow. Trail was very very long and bright, running from south to north. Did anyone else see it?

I saw it from NJ. Even with

I saw it from NJ. Even with all the light pollution from NYC, it was so vivid and bright!!

very bright fireball

Same! I saw a VERY Bright White streak, the brightest I ever saw. In upstate NY. It was SO large that I can not believe did NOT feel an explosion. It was very bright white and then turned to a substantially wider orange then green and it disappeared behind a building.

This ain’t good

I am in this place and there is NO meteor shower in here when I’m here!!!!

Witnessed an Amazing Fireball from the Himalayan Foothills

Saw the most amazing fireball of my lifetime at 8 PM IST in my North-East direction. Living in the crystal clear environment of Uttaranchal Himalayas (India), I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few meteors and shooting stars but this was something else! Hence, commenting/sharing here. I'll go and look for any remains tomorrow morning in the generic area it might have hit the forest.

Fireball

I am lucky enough to have seen one fireball in my life and share your awe and excitement. Mine was nearly 20 years ago, and the apparent lump with flames almost as if it were a charcoal briquet also headed in NE direction as it appeared much closer, slower and for a longer visible duration than the meteors or space junk I had ever seen before or since.
Like your sighting, I felt it was so close ut must have caught something on fore nearby as the flames did not extinguish as it appeared ti have hit the earth just over the nearby Sierra Nevadas Mountain Range to the east of Central California. I thought of fire, or news than where I could search as my mind came to realize, I'm still driving home, stay focused, lol. Getting home after swing shift I looked up what I could only describe a fireball. Hmmm; the term is a direct description of the beautiful, scary and all the same, wonderful celestial gem I had the pleasure and honor to witness. Hearing your excitement immediately took me back as it is a sight I will always treasure. Happy stargazing all!

So jealous in MA, USA

I love seeing shooting stars and have only been fortunate enough to witness 1-2 meteor showers in my 36 yrs on this plantet! How lucky you are to have such perfectly clear skies at night. Your night sky must be FULL of stars where as where I am located my view of the stars are very limited can barely see the little dipper it's that limited

green meteor in the sky tonight

Tonight or I should say early this morning 15 April 2019 I saw the most amazing sight.
It was at 2:35am it was a green ball floating across the sky. I would say it was a shooting star, but it was much larger like a comet and with a tail, it was a bright green!!! And moved much slower than shooting stars I have seen. It was so cool!! I in Minnesota by the was, St Paul, did anyone else see it??

Meteor showers

Didn't anyone see the meteor shows over northeast Kansas , around Topeka, Tuesday, April 9, 2019 ? They were going across the sky until around 2:00 p.m. I took several pictures on my phone.

Good size one

Just happened to watch out window around 9-30 on the night of Fri March 29th near Gooderham Ont. Canada and saw a bright meteor falling for a couple of seconds.

March 29th 9.30 'ish - meteor - Ontario

Saw a decent sized meteor while driving in Killaloe, Ontario on Friday March 29th

Giant meteor crosses sky over eastern Canada

I was out flooding my rink when this giant meteor flew across the WHOLE sky. I had time to drop my hose and walk to the edge of my rink and watch it disappear over the trees as it continued on it course. it was dropping pieces as it went. I sure hope someone caught some footage of that.

Bright green meteor

Around 4:30 am this morning I looked out my window just as a beautiful bright green meteor crossed the sky. Such an exciting way to start the day here in Spotsylvania County, VA

Shooting Star in Daylight

My stonemason and I were on our building site in Campbell's Creek, Victoria, Australia and were amazed to see a shooting star/meteor at 4pm in the afternoon. It streaked across a clear blue sky and appeared to have a coloured head of pink and a long tail. It was a wonderful surprise in our southern sky.

Shooting stars

Just after 5 a.m. today, i saw two shooting stars, very bright, in the middle of Albuquerque, NM.

Saw two shooting stars over Auburn,Maine

At around 1 am today 2/ 6/2019 saw a shooting star from 10 degrees west of zenith
heading west , then a second one , same way but about 20 degrees left( south) of
the first one. White light, disappeared 30 degrees before, above horizon.

Shooting star

I saw a shooting star this morning at 3:30am in Brookfield Wisconsin

strange falling star in Dutch Caribbean.

This morning at 6.18 I saw a star just fall out of the sky straight down....I have seen falling stars but never something like this...It felt more strange than cool and left me thinking. I am sure I was not the only one that saw it. IF somebody have en explanation please let me know.
thanks

Shooting Stars in Michigan

How awesome that while traveling west bound into work this morning with my friend we witnessed TWO shooting stars! We are located in the Lansing area of Michigan.
Very very cool......WOW!

Meteror showers

I'm new to the farmers almanac.I believe the most accurate reading and up to date..I'm hoping on a beautiful gift fr the sky's this am concerning our First Meteor Shower

Meteor

I saw one this eve, I'm in waltham abbey, travelling from east to west , over the meridian line..

Shooting Stars

I saw a shooting star this morning at 5.30am in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

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