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 shower

Did anyone see that meteor tonight in Salem Oregon? It was about 12:15am. Maybe 1000 feet up maximum and basketball sized or larger. Long tail and may have touched down in Keizer, or west Salem maybe? So cool!

I am in Bend and we saw it

I am in Bend and we saw it close to 1200am! So crazy! Probably the biggest meteor I've ever seen with a blue green tail

meteorite

I was just out of Terrebonne, OR saw the brightest ball likewith long tail shooting through sky was really cool!

We saw it just after midnight

We saw it just after midnight! We were right next to the airport in Salem. We want to find it! That is crazy, we have never seen anything like that.

Awesome

Wow it was awesome saw it going down the 22 from Salem to Monmouth OR. Right after the fair around midnight. Great thing to share with my son.while driving home after a great day.

I saw a green light streak

I saw a green light streak across the sky in Newport Oregon for a split second around that time. It was very bright. Unfortunately I didn't get it on camera. I did get photos of Yaquina Head Lighthouse on a backdrop of stars. https://edwardlouiephotography.smugmug.com/Travel/Oregon-Coast-2016/

we saw the same thing from

we saw the same thing from Saginaw, Michigan tonight.

Meteorite in night sky over Ottawa

Saw a meteorite in night sky over Ottawa, Ontario around 11:30 ish August 29th . It was green in colour. Very cool.

Just saw a green shooting star (10:45pm EST)

Just saw a green shooting star looking from Somerville, MA in North West direction over Arlington, MA. Lived here my entire life and never had seen such a site. Mostly because of the city lights. Super Cool.

Huge Green Meteor 8/29/2016

I saw a very large fire ball so big it looked as though I could have ran and caught it. It had a green hugh.

Huge green shooting star

I saw the same huge green shooting star driving down highway 69 just south of the French River in Ontario. It was so bright I removed my foot off the gas and waited for a boom.

Location of sighting

Where were you when you saw the fireball Nikki?

Just saw (1:30 am) a green

Just saw (1:30 am) a green shooting star fall down over NJ, looking at it from downtown manhattan. Beautiful, caught the corner of eye when a green light popped in the sky then it quickly trailed down and disappeared. So awesome

Just saw a green shooting

Just saw a green shooting star fall down over NJ, looking at it from downtown manhattan. Beautiful, caught the corner of eye when a green light popped in the sky then it quickly trailed down and disappeared. So awesome

Comet sighting

I saw a comet over Lake Wallenpaupack, Hawley PA August 23,2016, it was spectacular Huge fireball with long trail,The sky was bright for 9:15pm

Astronomy Photography.

The Aug, 11th, & 12 show was the 2nd best I've seen. The best was in Jan, this year. Got some great shots. Got one that just Exploded right in front on my lens. Awesome show on the morning of Jan, 4th. Beautiful.

We also saw a shooting star

We also saw a shooting star here in Ventura, CA at 10:05 pm heading west with a falling appearance and also had that bright orange straight line.

August 5th, western sky, what was it?

Tonight at precisely 956 pm i saw an extremely large bright orange straightline light that had a falling appearance in the western sky. It was rather low on the horizon directly below what i assume to be one of the visible planets tonight. I watched in amazement for about 60 seconds as i attempted to process what it could be. Should have gotten video but just froze up staring at it. Was not what i typically see with a shooting star, kinda creepy. Anyone else see this tonight?

shooting star

I saw a beatiful shooting star sat 23rd july at 12.15am so sun 24th really was so big n white left a visible white line for 2 mins in sky afterwards amazing

FALLING LIGHTED OBJECT LETHBRIDGE, AB

I just seen a lighted falling object just to the north end of the city of Lethbridge, AB. aprox 11:35 to 11:40pm
Were there any objects caught on video to explain what it was ?

What is the best location to watch in or around Charlotte, NC?

What is the best location to watch meteor showers in or around Charlotte, NC?

Chinese Rocket

The Editors's picture

What many of you saw last night in Utah and Nevada and California was a Chinese rocket disintegrating in the atmosphere. See more: http://spaceweather.com/

Meteor Shower? So Utah 22:35

We saw it!!! Looked like a huge firework going sideways following the curve of the earth. Strange flashing green lights near the tail. Thought maybe it was an explosion! Very fortuitous to see it.

1040 pm series of lights in sothern sky, Ut.

I saw series of lights go across the southern skyline from west to east, looked to be above Bountiful, Ut. Did anyone else see it?
My son's friend took a video of it.

Meteor shower July 27th 2016

There was a huge meteor shower around 10:35ish in Moab Utah! Me and 9 other people saw a green flash and a seeming firework shower comet looking went across the sky for about 2 minutes. Did anyone else see anything!!

Is there a meteor show tonight in central caf

We just saw a huge shooting star over eastern Clovis Calif area at 9:35 p.m.

First Falling Star

Just saw my first falling star in the pre-dawn hours. Might have been Delta Aquarid. Very cool!

meteor ? over Sandfire NW Western Australia 19 Jul 2016 1830

Tonight we sighted a fireball with orange/light blue tail tracking westerly to east over Sandfire Roadhouse at about 1830 it appeared to burn out in the direction of Broome. Would appreciate any positive feedback

meteor

Is there a night of the year 2016 has no meteor shower?

fallen star and shooting stars

On June 30th 2016 around 10 PM me and a buddy seen a fallen star blue fell s8 down disappeaed last maybe 10 15 sec maybe less with in 15 min of that we wintsed 3 shooting stars and a bunch air planes circling the area multiple times in Florida

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