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 & Halley's Comet

It's May 5th & I'm sitting here remembering every memorie I have of my oldest son who would be turning 33 on the 7th. This year is the same as when he was born. He was born @ 12:44am May 7th and I took him home on Mothers Day May 8th. He's been gone just about 1/2 as long as I had him. And the sadness is almost unbearable. I'm going out to the cemetery & spend the night with him and watch the meteor shower & hopefully get to see Halley's Comet. While y'all are all watching what I'm sure will be an amazing show please send a prayer my way to a Momma missing her son. Thank you & God bless you all

Love This issue

Love This issue

NE Florida meteor ?

Hi, In NE Florida, on May 1st around 10p (not sure of exact time) I saw a very large and very bright "shooting star." I was looking northeast and it appeared to travel south before exploding into green sparkles. It was less than 45 degrees above the horizon. I was startled because I thought it was headlight of an airplane coming into JAX. Super bright and seemed to last forever - although I''m sure it was closer to 2 seconds. I've looked at other reports and don;t see one for this event so thought I was share it.

Saw a shooting star Saturday night April 23rd 2016

I saw one in new Jersey it was amazing, never seen one before felt unreal.

I saw the shooting star

I saw the shooting star Saturday night April 23rd it was amazing, felt unreal.

29 march 2016 blue/green then poof orange in FLORIDA

To Miami I saw this huge comet meteor thing fly across the sky, green blue it was then it faded to a dusty orange and poof it was gone... cannot find anywhere on the web that tells me what it was.. only that others have seen this too.

can anyone help or point me in the correct direction please... thank you

Large green falling meteor in Indiana!

On April 15th at about 11:30pm CST I was driving and saw a large green what I am assuming was a meteor of some type with a long tail streak across the sky for an impressive length. I have seen many falling stars but nothing like this. It was magnificent!

Reply to Lis

Reply to Lis...I'm so glad you wrote that about the green falling star or meteorite because my husband and I saw the same thing at the same time from Celina, Ohio! It was beautifu! Never saw one like that.

Windermere (Orlando, FL area) at 11:10pm

Saw a cluster(20 large bulbs) of bright lights with long tail traveling at helicopter speed at first and orange color. Then did 45 degree turn about 40 miles away and went exponentially fast and turned white in color. Wondering if any one knows if any comets were due to be in area?

M.I.B Ain't Ready

I witnessed a meteor at 6:05 AM this morning in Chicago. It started off slow, then somebody pressed the little red button and it shot into hyper speed. It happened so fast but was still a beautiful sight to see with my own eyes. Now I'm on the lookout for more. I don't know what I see when I look up at the stars, but I do know I could be "Agent R".

Valentine's Day fireball

The Editors's picture

Hi Everyone!

There have been many reports of a fireball seen on Valentine’s Day in the Northeastern US. For more information (including a map of where it was seen), visit the following page from the American Meteor Society:

http://www.amsmeteors.org/2016/02/valentines-day-fireball-streaks-over-n...

So happy to find this page. I

So happy to find this page. I too saw a bright ball with a very long tail of red yellow and green pass right before me on i-91 Springfield Ma this morning around 4:30 am. It was magnificent.

Meteorite siting 4:30 am New Jersey

Was outside at 4:35 am in Bordentown NJ when a bright flashing light, arc light, then a long streak following was seen in the sky. The light was like a helicopter spot light in the sky. The whole yard lit up.

Witnessed falling object from sky

Heading eastbound on i 70 passing through Frederick md @ approximately 4:35 am a friend and I witnessed a very bright green object with a very very long yellow trail falling from the sky north of Frederick. The green object flashed once bright like lighting and then a second time even brighter then the first and it was gone. Any idea what it was?

Green light

I saw the same thing too and wanted to search what it was and came across this web page. I was outside when I saw like a green light blue-ish light. At first I thought it was a helicopter or something but when I looked up I saw the second time it showed its color (with a bit of red& yellow too) and made some noise and then it disappeared leaving a trail of dust or something. I'm pretty sure it was a meteorite that was entering our atmosphere which then got fried up and got disintegrated by the atmosphere which caused it to make that light when it was being destroyed.

Meteor with a green light at 4:35ish in New York, Long island

I saw the same thing too and wanted to search what it was and came across this web page. I was outside when I saw like a green light blue-ish light. At first I thought it was a helicopter or something but when I looked up I saw the second time it showed its color (with a bit of red& yellow too) and made some noise and then it disappeared leaving a trail of dust or something. I'm pretty sure it was a meteorite that was entering our atmosphere which then got fried up and got disintegrated by the atmosphere which caused it to make that light when it was being destroyed.

Meteorite seen Feb.14,2016 at 4:30 am

I'm a truck driver for the post office. I was heading to wheeling ,west Virginia and at 4:30 am I called my wife and my mother told them I saw a meteorite all different colors with a long flame following it. Craziest thing I ever saw. I reside in Galloway,Ohio and was heading out from Columbus toward Wheeling,West Virginia

Meteor

Was driving to work on the 133 headed west in Southern California at approximately 6:41, when suddenly a bright object fell from the north to south. It was bright out, and the object was very bright across the whole sky, and had a sparkle to it that I've not seen in other "shooting stars" .

Amazing Meteor

Saw the same meteor in Southern California driving West on the 91 freeway. Sighting lasted about 3 seconds. What a wonderful way to start the day.

Meteor sighting???

0230 today, Feb. 10/16. VERY bright light which first I thought sheet lightening but could not be. Almost pulsating, twice seconds then gone. I did not see directly, light through blinds. No cars or anything else. Brighter than that would be. Appeared basically from SE.

meteor?

At 21:15 on the 9th February saw a bright light with flames falling from the sky and landing in a paddock close by, followed by a bright glow through the trees on impact.

Toowoomba, Australia.

About 30 minutes ago I saw a

About 30 minutes ago I saw a beautiful bright glow followed by a blue-green tail.
It was quite large in appearance. What a joy to see such an amazing image in the night sky.
Brisbane Australia.

Shooting star feb 8th?

I was washing my sons bottle maybe 10 min ago so 440am New Brunswick time. And i saw what looked like a shooting star(never seen one in person before) but it was a bright almost like a neon green? All the videos ive ever saw they looked more yellow...wish i got it on tape. So my question is was it actually a shooting star?

Green shooting star

The Editors's picture

Interesting! Yes, it was probably a shooting star. Most shooting stars do indeed appear to be white or yellow. This is because iron, which is the most common element found in meteors, glows yellow. However, there are sometimes more rare green glows in the trail of a shooting star, which indicates the presence of burning copper.

shooting star

Traveling from Sackville NB to our home in NH, we too saw this incredible site over NB!
Most beautiful thing I have ever seen in the night sky!

Shooting stars Feb1, 2016 11:00pm

Tonight I seen a dozen shooting stars, I varied it on an app showing stars. I didn't see it posted anywhere.. Do they just appear out of no where?

minor meteor showers

The Editors's picture

It could be that you were seeing a minor meteor shower. In addition to the major showers that occur every year, such as those listed in our 2016 Meteor Showers Guide, there are also minor meteor showers (those that produce less than 10 meteors per hour at peak activity).

The following link from the American Meteor Society predicts activity for this week.

http://www.amsmeteors.org/2016/01/meteor-activity-outlook-for-january-30...

Hope this helps!

meteorite

Sunday night January 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm I saw a fireball that went all the way to the horizon. East of
Decatur, Alabama near the Tennessee River. Did anyone else see this?

Tonight I saw the brightest

Tonight I saw the brightest falling star in New Jersey, fell from the sky, green to white. Looking west from Princeton area at 6:15pm est. Looked amazing almost unreal! Looking for confirmation somewhere online.

Yes I saw something over

Yes I saw something over Baltimore. Little later. Biggest fastest firiest thing I ever saw.

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