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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Check out

Check out lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot.com Lots of people saw this one, including me in north central PA. I saw a massive green fireball that exploded at the end. It was amazing.

Shooting star?

A humongous shooting star or comet with tails shot across the sky in Chevy Chase last night around 6:15 pm. It was beautiful

There are reports from

The Editors's picture

There are reports from several states that a fireball was seen on January 30. For more information, see the American Meteor Society page:  http://www.amsmeteors.org/

Falling Star, Naples, FL

I saw what was quite possibly the brightest falling star I have ever seen tonight. It was around 7:30 p.m. in the Western sky in Naples, FL. Absolutely stunning.

Just saw bright falling star

Just saw bright falling star , Utica Ohio!

Fireball in the sky

I saw a very large fireball tonight over Baltimore a while after six pm. Trail of fire behind it. Never saw anything that big or that fast. Another person saw the whole thing. Over in a split second. Anybody else see it.

Yes I saw it too. A long

Yes I saw it too. A long firey blaze zoomed past my house Baltimore md.

Tonight January 28the 2015 at

Tonight January 28the 2015 at a few minutes past midnight In South east London I saw a bright white shooting star speed across the sky. I only saw it for a couple of seconds but it was beautiful!!

Sorry 2016 lol I'm still

Sorry 2016 lol I'm still stuck in last year

Bluish/greenish shooting star

Bluish/greenish shooting star

Last night 1/25/16 at around 10:50 pm I saw a bluish/greenish shooting star.. It looked big. I saw it on the freeway by Thousand Oaks, CA when I was on my way to work.

Green shooting star

At approx 9:42pm in SE sky of northeastern Pennsylvania I watched as a magnificent bright green "star ?" Fell above me. It turned from green to bright white as it descended and then was outted!!! I do see these at least 2 or 3 times a year, usually all within same area!!

I also seen a green shooting

I also seen a green shooting star around the same time I was driving on 93 heading south I was around the MA RI state line

Jan 19 fireball Millbury MA

Driving 4:24pm Millbury Ma a huge, bright, fast fireball shoots down through the atmosphere! Most amazing fireball I've ever seen!! And yet I haven't seen any news about it?? Wish I could posts pics on here... It was amazing. Anyone with info about it?? I'd love to hear!!

Shooting star over melbourne

Hi, saw a large shooting star last night over Port Phillip Bay approx. 8.30pm. Travelling towards north-east. Very bright green as it was burning. Sky was still very light, (sun was just setting) but it still managed to catch my eye.

spectacular green "falling star"

January 19 at 10:05 driving east in Bristol Maine we saw an incredible bright green falling star with a long tail streaking low from north to south in the northeastern quadrant. Extraordinary

Green Falling star

At 8.05 on the 11th January 2016, my husband and I witnessed a falling green star/meteorite in the Robina area of the Gold Coast. It was amazing and neon lime green in colour. It was spectacular!

I saw a similar green neon

I saw a similar green neon flash at 8:52 (EST) 11th Jan, north direction, from about 40 to 20 deg above the horizon.

12.07am on the 16th January

12.07am on the 16th January 2016, i saw the same in Dubbo NSW area looking north-east it was travelling north to south low .

Big White Ball of Light!

Saw a big white ball of light falling at an angle towards Farmington NH. Pretty sure that is where it hit. Haven't heard of anyone else seeing it other than the passengers in my car. This was at 5:45 this morning. Very fast!

Big White Ball of Light!

My husband and I were driving to work this morning when we saw the exact same thing at 5:45 AM in Braintree, MA. Very fast, very bright! We're glad to know other people witnessed the same thing. I think it was heading ENE.

Fire in the sky

January 2,2016
Hello fellow sky watchers.I saw 4 unidentified flying fire colored lights that appeared, disappeared,then reappeared, changing in shape 1 taking the shape of a boomerang,another like a ball with fire trailing behind it,& the other 2 just a ball of fire over down town Phoenix, Az moving slowly westward before entirely disappearing.Did anyone else witness this or know what they were? Approximately 20-25 min later, South of me, in South Phoenix,i saw the first,in over 20 yrs of my sky gazing,a shooting star that turned from light blue to purple then to pink falling eat to west as low as the top of a roof that lasted for 8-10 seconds before gazing out.It was the most beautiful falling star I've ever seen.Did anyone else witness it.I hope & pray to see me like that one!

Saw I'm guessing a falling

Saw I'm guessing a falling star but it was green and pretty large compared to normal falling stars and low. Seemed really close to the road and appeared to land in a field next to the road I was driving on..Really neat looking. In bonners ferry, Id around 6pm

Comet/Asteroid sighting?

Tonight whilst walking dog at 21:33pm 27/11/15 in Devon, UK saw white comet shape with short tail quite large, much larger than the stars and seemingly very low and horizontal flight path from East to North. Any ideas as to what I actually saw?

I've seen two green "falling

I've seen two green "falling stars". Within this last three days. I don't exactly believe them to be falling stars due to how low they were. They were no higher than a power line. I also seen one light colored that disappeared so fast i barely seen it before it faded out. This too was also very low. Any ideas anyone? Thank you.

Tues the 24th or Wed the 25th

Tues the 24th or Wed the 25th, as I was walking home about 7-8 pm this red ball appeared in the sky it seemed as if it came from behind moving to North and seemed to float rather than fly, it moved slowly and then disappeared behind treetops and the horizon. I asked someone in the parking lot I was told it could be asteroid was reported. I still don't know what it could be no one else saw it so I thought I' d check this site. It did not seem to have a tail. What was it? I never seen anything like that i live in the city/suburb. I missed Bopp in San Francisco-came back to detroit and no visabiity. I'm happy to see a meteor if that was one.

Falling star Nov 24 9:30 pm cdt

Saw large white with long tail going more horizontal than I expected. Looking west falling from north. Seemed very close but have only seen one small one before

falling star

November 24, 2015 London, Ontario, Canada
Looking due south admiring the stars, we witnessed a beautiful bright white star with a bright white tail that fell to the earth vertically at 10:45 p.m. I have never seen that before! Wow Amazeballs!!!

Meteors

I counted 5 on my way to lunch and 2 on my way back. Multiple objects in sky with smoky tails. All close to one another and going all different directions. No tail equal to the other. Riverport - Greenbekt Hwy. I was facing Fort Know I think.

Meteor Showers November 19, 2015 I64 in Indiana

I saw two 24 miles North of French Lick around 10:30 and the second one lit up the whole skyline and appeared to be very close to the earth

Fireball

Just saw a fireball shooting down towards Lake Erie in the NW sky - downtown Cleveland, Ohio. I was driving west and it was extremely clear, big and awesome. I thought of it as a fireball then found the description using the same term, here. Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2015 at 11pm. Never saw one before. So cool.

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