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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Just saw a meteor at

Just saw a meteor at approximately 5:50 pm on Thursday, December 1st originating from directly south of me.

Houston, TX we had a meteorite over

Was driving today on 610 loop towards Galleria and saw very thick head small tail about one second beautiful large meteorite. Very yellow bright color. So happy☆~○

I saw it too!

Was walking dog - looked up at south-east sky and for a millisecond saw a fireball. About 10 minutes befor 7 AM. Very cool.

bright light shooting across the sky

I saw it also...a bright light behind the clouds..near cleveland

Awe

At 7:00 am on 11/29/16--just at dawn, I saw a huge "fireball" streak across the eastern sky from north to south. I thought it would catch the trees on fire it was so large and so close! The "ball" was green with a white streak behind it.

I saw it too!

I saw a streak of light too as I was heading east on the shoreway at about 7am. It went right across the sky going north to south. I was trying to find out if anyone else saw it-I'm glad you posted!

So happy to see I wasn't the

So happy to see I wasn't the only one who witnessed this! I seen it in the eastern sky while driving to work around 6:45 a.m. in Michigan. Biggest fireball I've witnessed, I believe. Thought I was seeing things at first, but knew that this was something to look up and found this post.

meteor shower

its 11/20 @5;30pm i just seen 2 meteors in the last 1/2 hour

Shoot streak

Seen a shooting streak go from east to west in Garland , TX around 6:12am . It was so close I seen it break up into pieces while enter the atmosphere I guess .

AMAZING FIREBALL IN NORTHERN VA SKY

At approximately 2:30 AM I saw the brightest streak I've ever seen that ended in a burst of light shoot across the sky. It was fast and looked so close!! I'm about 15 miles from Washington DC. it came from the east I believe towards the south (?). Anyone know what this might be????

Just saw a brilliant shooting

Just saw a brilliant shooting start heading towards sunrise here in Philadelphia #abstractoptions 11 minutes ago

About two hours ago I saw one

About two hours ago I saw one of the most amazing shooting stars, it moved rather slow was very bright and covered a large distance, happened right after bringing my niece and nephew to our rooftop to look at the sky, we all saw it, it was special, thank you!

Nov 1, 2016 - approx. 8:30pm

Nov 1, 2016 - approx. 8:30pm. Leaving Brighton Township headed southeast my daughter, granddaughter and I saw a huge round blue/white illuminated shape fall from sky seemed like straight down into the far end of field we were facing. Most incredible, unusual thing any of us had ever seen. Only lasted seconds....

Just now , 2015 hrs. EST. I

Just now , 2015 hrs. EST. I saw a very large , bright white , bluish tint , round frisbe shape object fall fast from the sky from an 11:00 position facing Due EAST of BUTLER PA to 5:00 postion where it had to of hit the ground falling thru space at this angle. I think about 6 seconds after site I heard a faint rumble but no loud noise at all which I was almost expecting. It was large and close, (appearing so anyway)... I am 59, sober and watch the sky often, this is one of the top three things I have ever seen and the best falling object from the sky. SO Visably perfectly round???? can't wait to see what others say, Warm , early , NOVEMBER 1 in western PA, certainly many saw this object fall???? Sincerely. Excited.

Driving in Cleveland OH

Driving in Cleveland OH around 8:15 I saw a Green ball with a greenish-yellowish tail. Prior to it, or around the same time, there were a few power drains (it must have been related!) I have been looking to see if anyone caught video or even other reports. I am 60, totally sober and saw something I have never seen in my life. Looking forward to reading more from others!

Comet or meteorite

I was sitting on my Colleyville Texas patio at 4am today and saw
A beautiful comet / meteorite pass over with a long
tail it also looked like fragments were braking
off. A neat site.

shooting star

I was fortunate enough to have spotted a shooting star around 6:45 am . It was was a very bright white light with an orange tail, just like the ones you see in fireworks, only it wasn't . It lasted about 15 seconds. I live on the south shore of lake Simcoe in Ontario Canada.

Super Cool

I was heading North on Route 7 on my way to work in Andover, OH around 6:40ish. When out of nowhere a Green ball of light with a tail was traveling from west to east across the sky. My first thought was of a plane going down. I even rolled down the window to listen for the crash. It is funny how the distance tricks you.. Needless to say no explosion. Was a cool experience.

Ditto

I saw the same one. It was a beautiful thing and seemed to last forever, but was gone in the blink of an eye. It was traveling extremely fast to cover that much territory that quickly.

Amazing

St. Thomas Ontario October 7th at 6:42am - Saw a shooting star that lasted nearly 10 seconds! I was in such disbelief that I managed to open the window and get a better look.

Meteor Elma, NY

Elma, NY. October 4th approximately 10:35pm. Witnessed what looked like a meteor with a long fire tail falling. It was so close and looked as if it were going to hit the ground. It was dark so I couldn't tell if it died out or if it went behind a house. I just waited for a loud bang or fire that never happened. Very cool to witness.

Fisrt omet I've seen

On October 4th 2016 I wittnesed a comet falling in Frederick MD for my first time. Just north of CarMax

fireball at 10:36pm ET over NYC / Jersey City

Witnessed a HUGE green burst of light from my apt window (looking west, towards jersey city) at 10:30pm. Had a trail that eventually exploded into that burst of light. It was so so so big! Anyone else see it?

Fireball in forest hill, md

I saw it too. Coming down bright light that exploded, looking north west. So cool!

10-4-16 green fireball !!

At 10:37 pm, I was heading from shop rite on river street in Hackensack, NJ, towards the entrances for Route 80 East & West. Looking straight ahead while driving toward the Rt 80 East entrance, I saw this huge green, yellow & white fireball low in the sky...it looked as if it was going to hit the ground in seconds. It had a tail. I've never seen anything like this! My first concern was that something was going to end up on fire. It took off to my right as it traveled downward. So wish I had been stuck at the traffic light & had been able to take video or a pic! I actually called Hackensack police to ask if there was a fire reported! Think the officer believed I was crazy! He said nothing had been reported. Amazing to know someone other than me witnessed this, and only a minute apart, a good distance away. Wow!

fireball

on my way to work this morning about 5 :15 am,i seen a red fire thing going through the sky,thinking meteor, then found out its called a fireball..im in missouri,southeast,near clearwater lake on hh hwy...

Biggest/longest & brightest I've ever seen!!!

On 9/26/16 at around 2am, located in Indio, Ca(parked nearby to the granite company off of dirt roads near the mountains) I was sitting in a car looking out the door with my door wide open and I noticed literally the biggest & longest shooting star I've ever seen in my life and I've seen plenty from growing up around this area but not any nearly as huge & bright as this one!! It was just so big, fast, bright yet also seemed slow at the same time because of its large, long bright streak it left behind it going straight across the sky from the right to the left (from the east to the west from the direction I was looking up into the sky over the mountains) and the streak/tail of it stayed in the sky for such a long time after it flew across, it could've been compared to how planes look leaving the streak in the clouds but this was definitely a giant shooting star, it was very round like a huge ball with a very bright white light to it and it had big blue spot in the middle of it as it shot across the sky!!! I had never seen one with a blue color before, It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen in the night sky in my life and I wish I could've recited a high definition video somehow to capture how amazing it was!! It was unbelievable for me to have witnessed such a thing... I had to share it somehow and see if anyone else out there was able to see this beautiful shooting star!!?

Bright white ball

At 3:19am on September 16th, 2016. Looking northeast from Salt Spring Island BC I saw a huge white ball - no tail - fell out of the clouds - bolted to earth. Did anyone in the Pacific Northwest see this?

Big white ball

I am in western washington. I saw a giant ball last night around 9pm. It had a little ng tail and was moving north lower in the sky. It was moving slow

Shooting star over southern Alberta

I saw the star burning up slowly across the southern Alberta sky...amazing sight that lasted for about 15 seconds...
(Too bad I didn't have my fancy camera..)

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