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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METEOR OR ROCKET

heading south bound on a highway in eastern oregon on feb 14 2017 i watched a ball of light with a long tail traveling what i can only assume was north west because i saw it for a very long time say about 20 seconds maybe less. but it didnt seem to cover much distance. it looked to me to be climbing out of the atmosphere thats why i thought it may have been a rocket.
This was at or around 6:25 AM

Saw the same exact thing

Just commenting that my co-workers and I saw the same exact thing at 6:23. There was a pop or explosion and the object went away shortly after. I have it on video.

Fireball & boom !!!

I saw the exact same thing! It was so powerful it actually woke my little brother up from the top bunk. I'm so sad I did not get a chance to record it. This was the first time I have seen anything like that in real life.

Leeroy do you plan on posting the video anywhere? I would love to see it again.

bright orange and green lights in sky Feb. 3

About 6:15 to 6:30 heading east in Austin, TX, I saw the lower part of the entire horizon flash orange. A few seconds later, the same flash occurred but was green. Just the entire lower part of the sky turned the color; I did not see any kind of meteorite or ball. Anybody else see this?

Great Ball of Fire...

...And I think maybe it landed in my backyard last night. Maybe not but it sure looked like it was that close. It was 0230 ish and as my eyes panned across my bedroom window something made me do a look out the window. A ball of fire! I swear that thing hit the ground either in my back pasture or the field behind it! It was Awesome! Goshen IN, near IN/MI state line.

HUGE Red-orange fireball about 1/4 size of the moon over Ohio.

I work overnight. So I was on my way home facing west. Just past Cleveland Hopkins Airport had a good view of the moon today. Then all of a sudden half the distance from the moon to the horizon this HUGE FIREBALL. Path was northwest towards Lake Erie. Too big for a star or anything like that. Literally the moon is at half now and the flaming mass was half the size of that. OMG. Nobody will believe me and I will probably never see anything like it again. Time was 223AM.

Fireball

The Editors's picture

We believe you!  As you can see from the reports below, there was a huge green-blue fireball in the region of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario (Canada). Also, many folks heard the sonic boom once it landed!

copper in the sky

my self and two others were traveling north on I-75 just north of Detroit about 2:30 a.m.
and seen off to the west , the biggest shooting star, there was several colors like copper burning in a fire. just after it was gone there was a greenish blue flash.

Meteor

I am still shaking. Saw the hugest bright burning ball of fire come from the sky at around 1:25 AM. Woke up every body thought the world was ending. My son told me it was just a meteor. He showed it to me on his Phone. I feel stupid, but glad I saw it.

Green light shooting towards earth

Seen the same thing here around 230 am Bay City Michigan really cool looking !!

Green light shooting towards earth

I saw the same thing while watching the moon at 2:30 am in Windsor, Ontario Canada

meteor

it was 230am i work midnight shift in a tower near Detroit and to the west i saw a large meteor coming down from the southwest with a long fiery tail and it looked to burn up close to the ground.

Green light

Just seen the craziest thing light up the sky, it looked like a shooting star, but was way to close to the earth. It had a bright neon green color glowing with it as it head down towards the earth !!! Super close and shot with two separate forces, thats when I thought it was going to hit the ground, and who knows it just might have been a meteorite, actually hitting ground. Guess we will see tomorrow if it was, and did, but it was definitely cool looking !! It was at 230am feb 6th in Bay City.

Meteor

It was so bright, big and flaming.

Meteorite over Oshawa, Ontario

Outside enjoying clear sky. Bright orange meteorite appeared in sky travelling north to south for about 3 seconds. Beautiful.

January 30, over Houston TX. I hope someone else saw it.

I saw such beautiful meteorite, thick head, small tail, about only a second. Very yellow bright. It was bigger than I see on presented images.

i saw a a huge falling star

i saw a a huge falling star (meteor) in the s.s.w Im in Nixon,tx about 5-6 p.m monday 1-30-2017

Shooting star

My husband and I walked out onto the back deck tonight (around 10:15pm EST) and saw two of the most beautiful shooting stars. The first one was big, bright, and orange; the other, faint white. Happened to be outside at just the right time. Only the second time I've ever seen a shooting star and I'm still in awe.

North to South travelling shooting star - what is that about?

Hi. Im in Adelaide, South Australia (35° S, 139° E) and about midnight here, on Christmas Eve, I witnessed a shooting star traveling from North to South, in the sky directly above me. I wondered if anyone could help me understand what that might have been? It seems liek such an unusual trajectory... ! thanks

n to s shooting star

What else could it have been, coming from the north on Christmas eve? Hope you went immediately to bed. Hee hee

Shooting star

Early on Dec27th (3am ish) North Kent coast looking East

12/20/16 comets / meteor over Minnesota.

743 to 748 am had 3 tails first seen it over head traveled towards the sun rise.
When I seen it, it immediately reminded me of a disney princess crown.
I'm a driver and my passenger who also seen it said its not something you see everyday will try to be looking tommorrow.

Green shooting star

I just saw a green shooting star northwest sector of sky, 5:18 am. It was brilliant. I'm usually asleep at this time but for some reason woke up to look out window seconds before it appeared.

Bright flashing lights in the sky

December 14, 2016 at 12:37a.m. In Pittsburgh on interstate 79S between exit 57 and 55 heading towards Washington Pennsylvania I seen several flashes of light that lit the entire sky they started out as a blue almost turquoise then changed to a green and red orange then back to a blue indigo this lasted only like 15 seconds but I have never seen this ad out light the whole sky up. After it went out the sky appeared darker. I didn't hear ant sounds but the weather here is cold and we did have a little snow earlier. Just trying to figure out of anyone else seen this and what it may have been. The best way to describe it was it looked like am explosion in the atmosphere but no sound.

I saw something

Hey Joshua, we were heading to Charlottesville Virginia on interstate 64 maybe a few mile over the state line and I saw a streak going west to east about 8 seconds bright orange to burn out. No other changes notice as it was raining very light and no sound.

Bright orange streak

At about 9:10pm Ca time I saw a fiery orange streak going East to South here in the East Bay in California!

I saw something too.

Hey, I live in Richmond, Virginia and I live right next to the Richmond International Airport. So I have seen airplanes my ENTIRE LIFE. And what I saw tonight January 25,2017 at approx. 6:30 pm eastern time was a bright light that was multi colored, and it appeared to change in shape from circular to oblong, but I think that was because it moved so fast the lights appeared to steam in the oblong shape. Make sense? And it stayed in the general area it just moved about an inch or so from my perspective, but it was not directly over me. It was a long ways away from me.
I can be reached at smarshallphtatgmaildotcom if you have any other questions. I also have video of this and about 10 pics too.

3:46 am February 8,2017 im

3:46 am February 8,2017 im still shaking n thinking about what I just saw! ..... bright orange light looking out from my window I see a orange light like an explosion that gets bigger n bigger gone n come back bigger! The orange light got really big then stop it last for 2 minutes or less. ........ it was beautiful n scary I never seen anything like this before.

Ball of flowing melted gold with trail of stars

I'm looking for anyone who saw in the Tucson sky on Aug 25 or 26th around 9 pm this golden ball. It had self contained liquid gold with a trail of twinkling stars. I do have two witness that saw it heading upwards and knew it wasn't a meteor. We had the meteor shower for three days. On second evening I saw this as did two other people

Sorry. In my previous comment

Sorry. In my previous comment I neglected to mention my location. Oklahoma City.

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