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

Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

By Bob Berman
September 13, 2021
Leonid Meteor Shower

An artist’s depiction of the Leonid meteor shower in 1833 which produced one of the most spectacular displays in history.

Edmund Weiss

Get ready for fall’s meteors! When’s the next meteor shower? Our Meteor Shower Calendar for 2021 has the dates, best time to view, number per hour, point of origin, and associated comet—plus, viewing tips!

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. 8–10 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. Rarely, the Lyrids produce surges of up to 100 meteors per hour.

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.

Eta Aquarids | May 4–5, 2021

The Eta Aquarids are the result of dust and debris produced by Halley’s Comet as it circles the Sun. This meteor shower is most spectacular in the Southern Hemisphere, where the meteors’ radiant is higher in the sky. In the Northern Hemisphere, Eta Aquarids are often seen closer to the horizon. 

Look for the Eta Aquarids in the early pre-dawn hours of May 5, when 10–20 meteors per hour can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere (and nearly double that in the Southern Hemisphere). 

Delta Aquarids | July 28–29, 2021

The Delta Aquarids get their name from the constellation Aquarius, which they appear to emanate from. A weaker shower, the Delta Aquarids typically reach their peak in late July and produce between 10 and 20 meteors per hour around this time. A truly dark sky offers the best chance at seeing the Delta Aquarids, as they tend to not be as bright as some of the other meteor showers.

This year, the Delta Aquarids mingle with the light of a bright waning gibbous Moon, which will make it more difficult to see these faint meteors. Keep an eye out for them in the pre-dawn hours of July 28, 29, and 30.

Perseids | August 11–13, 2021

We’re in for a fantastic Perseids show this year! The New Moon falls on August 8 and will still be thin when the Perseids reach their peak just a few days later, which means that they won’t be washed out by the Moon’s brightness. This meteor shower is also one of the most productive of the year—expect to see up to 50 meteors per hour in a clear, dark sky. For more viewing tips, check out our guide to the Perseid meteors!

Draconids | October 8–10, 2021

The Draconids aren’t the most impactful show of the year, but they do mark the start of a busy season of meteor showers. After the Draconids, a shower happens every one to two weeks until late December.

This year, the Draconids reach their peak just a few days after the new Moon of October 6. This, plus the fact that the thin crescent Moon sets before nightfall, means that we’ll have perfectly dark skies to make meteor-viewing all the easier. These meteors also tend to peak earlier in the night than most; look for them as soon as it’s dark enough to see the stars.

Orionids | October 20–21, 2021

The Orionids are named after one of the most recognizable constellations in the sky, Orion, from which these meteors appear to radiate. Often featuring some of brightest and fastest streaking stars, the Orionids appear in mid October and reach their peak in the hours before dawn on October 21. Unfortunately, this year they will compete directly with the full Hunter’s Moon, which will be at its brightest on the same night as the Orionids (October 20–21).

Because of the timing, the Orionids will likely be washed out and won’t be as prominent as usual. For the best chance at seeing these shooting stars, venture out in the dark hours before dawn and position yourself away from the full Moon as best as you can.

Stay tuned as we continue to add more meteor showers!

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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Falling Star 4/14/2017 Moses Lake , WA

sitting outside and seen falling star closer then ever. The white tear drop light came town looks like behind the house across the street, but turned blue and kinda sparkled away before it hit the ground. I never seen anything like it before and I'm 57yrs old. I told my sister we need to go look in the back yard of the people across the street for rocks. she wont. that' how close it looked.

Green meteorite shooting towards ground in NJ

I just saw two teardrop shaped objects falling from the sky looked like they were went out right before they hit. Large followed by a smaller one Beautiful

Satellite and looked like gas explosions

My family and I are in sw ontario and we're star gazing and watching satellites following each other in space but then 2 dissapeared and within minutes 3 shooting stars and also 3 what looked like explosions all within the same area...is that normal

I Have Seen shooting star

Hi i Have seen shooting star on march 23rd 2017 around 10:50 pm...........

I think ive maybe found a meteor but not10

So ive been rocking latley Nd I found a stone that is unlike any stone.ive seen... its course .heavy, red rusty cored body and has a small hard steellike ball in the... I guess... Top? Its complelt magnetic Nd I belive it to be solid metal of some sort it's about A big as my palm... Dont know who to go to .also. The rust is no rust I cant see any comjng.off it when.I run.it in.water. Any feed back would be much apprichiated xoxoxoxoxoo chris with the rocko

Sighting

Brilliant shooting star at 8:40. March 22. Mont. Co. Md. Best in my lifetime. Fireball, shot earthward out of the north sky. Long tail, 3 to 4 seconds. As it flamed out, it turned blue and red. Breath taking !

Large blue light across sky

I saw a bright blue to white ball across the sky on march 21 2017 about 8:40pm eat in NJ

I just saw a bright shooting star in sacramento ca.

The most bright shooting star I've ever seen. 10:40pst

GREEN COMET

I just seen something green shoot through the sky really fast!!!

Me too on March 21, 2017 at 8:40 PM

I saw a green object shoot downward in the sky on March 21, 2017 while riding on route 270 N.

I Just saw a catalop size

I Just saw a catalop size light that traveled from east to North
At about 10pmCST. It looked like a Clear fading light with the pull of gravity on its tail like this. @------------.

Shooting Star

I just saw the biggest shooting star with a white trailing tail in central Kentucky. Anybody else witness this?

Yes! Me too..In MI. Right

Yes! Me too..In MI. Right about 10:40ish pm.

Yes! Me too..In MI. Right

Yes! Me too..In MI. Right about 10:40ish pm.

Shooting Star

I saw it! Was going for a jog with my daughter. It was amazingly beautiful!

Fireballs?!? Shooting stars?! UFO crash?!? 2:10am

It was literally the biggest "shooting star" I've seen in my life! I though that a UFO was crashing it was so fast and seemed as if it had a decent amount of weight to it! Had a long long long red and yellow tail behind it, like it was on fire! It lite up so much of the sky!

At around 0203 this morning

At around 0203 this morning (in Wesley chapel FL)I saw what looked like a shooting star with a bright red burning tail behind it for a good 2 seconds going in and upwards direction (like out of the atmosphere) after the red flame disappeared it was like a twinkling star that was falling towards the ground. I had to look away, wipe my eyes because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. This all took place in a matter of 3-5min. Did anyone else see it?

Huge green ball

I just saw a huge fiery green ball fall from sky. This looked very close as if it may have landed in smyrna Ga area on Cobb parkway. This is a well lit area as well. It was blazing. Aliens?

Shooting Star Long Beach, CA

Saw a shooting star on 3/11/17 at about 2:20am. I was on the 710 freeway in Long Beach, CA at the time. Only saw it for about 1 second. It was traveling very fast in an almost straight down trajectory. It had a beautiful long bright neon green tail and seemed to be burning up at the front end.

Shooting Star 01/26/2017

On Sunday, 1/26/2017 at approximately 1:30 a.m. I was in Sebring, FL, just arriving from an all-day drive from Delaware to clean out my father in law's house, who passed away in late 2016. It was so bright and close to the top of his house, it lit up the neighborhood and fizzled out at the tree line in the distance. I think he was checking on us from heaven to make sure we got in okay. I really believe that.

Falling star

Tonight around 10pm I saw a large ball of light fall from the sky. It had what looked like a streak of fire behind it for a few seconds. Than it went out completely. It lasted long enough that I was able to tell my boyfriend to "look." It was awesome! Does anyone know exactly what it was?

Falling star 6/3/17

Yes our 7 year old son seen this too. He is in NSW Australia. What was it???

Flaming fireball

I was flying on American Airlines from Miami to Nashville, mid flight around 10:40 I saw out of the window, a bright white round light falling straight down from the sky, it lasted a few seconds then it caught fire and turned into a big flame and disappeared. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen! Had a magnificent front row view at 30,000 feet!

Meteor shower tonight?

I live in southwest michigan and on my way home from work tonight I saw 3 falling stars!!! They we re very bright

Falling star-HUGE

On February 26th around 9:05 i saw a huge ball of light, white with green around edges fall, it took long enough that i had time to tell my son, "hey, look at that!" I have never seen one so big! I live in Niantic, CT

I saw it too ... it was huge.

I saw it too ... it was huge. Eastern NC

Feb. 26, 2017 @ 9 pm Shooting Star Richmond VA

I too saw the falling star, exactly as described above with the green light around it. Falling in the eastern sky and faded out like a candle ist extinguished. I saw it while in Richmond, VA.Eastern Henrico County. Cool that it was seen in NC and NJ!

Tues., Feb. 21, 9 p.m., falling meteor? shooting star?

I saw a very large, bright falling meteor or shooting star at a little after 9 p.m. on 2/21/17 in Dallas off of Northwest Hwy. and Preston Rd. It think it was a meteor as it looked like one semi-round chunk of white light appearing low on the horizon, falling while burning brightly, then turning into a "tail" and then disappearing. Did anyone else see this????? I was shocked because it was so large.

Fireball ? in sky February14 2017

First noticed fireball ? in sky driving home from Hurricane, UT to Washington, UT between 8 and 9 pm. Watched it all the way home 9 miles and also got video through my spotting scope It was amazing to me how long it lasted. When I got home I had my wife come outside and look at it. With the naked eye it looked like a star but through the spotting scope it was a ball of fire and it was lower and many times larger than a star.

Meteor*****

I was picking up morning newspaper looked up and watched this object soar across the sky I agree with comment below it was traveling for about 20 seconds and seem to burn out and pieces fell from it. "AMAZING" Liz from Dixon Ca(not far from Travis Air Force Base)

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