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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Fireball

Forgot the description :) It was bright orange and glowing with a solid bright orangey white tail!

Meteor November 19, 2015 Daly City

We live on Mt Davidson, San Francisco. Looking south at 12:49AM a meteor was spotted above Daly City, California entering the atmosphere. 2.5 seconds of illumination light blue light streak. The meteor disintegrated before landing on the earth's surface.

What am I looking at

I live in Ballard W.Va and it is now 5:04am I am seeing a bright large twinkling huge star/satellite/ISS?? My star app says it's close to signius and my app isn't giving any info to what this is. It is BEAUTIFUL and B RIGHT and the biggest light in the sky!! Please tell me what this is? Thanku.

Could you have seen Venus? It

The Editors's picture

Could you have seen Venus? It is especially bright in the predawn sky this month.

BLUE BALL w/TAIL?

On Tues night 11-10-15 about 7pm just outside of BUFFALO, MO (north of Springfield)I seen the same thing that Steven Cloyes of Springdale (guessing AR?) Seen. A BIG round blue ball with long white tale shooting across the sky from northeast to southwest not coming down but across and very very low in the sky!! NO ONE HAS EVEN MENTIONED IT???

last night about 8:45pm I saw

last night about 8:45pm I saw two comets? meteors? One in the southwest descending vertically and maybe a split tail. The other in the west traveling horizontally bright white streak

Comet, shooting star

I saw a shooting star in North Charleston, SC last night while driving down the interstate. It was around that time. I was shocked because the area was not really that dark. I can't believe it didn't make the news. I was traveling west bound.

shooting stars

I love shooting stars to night I saw one I thank its the second I've seen.
I thank I might be a astronaut. Pretties thing I have ever seen in the sky.

Red comet evening of Nov. 10, 2015, Montreal, Canada

At 5:45 p.m. EST, I saw what looked like a large bright red comet with a wide tail dropping rapidly from west to east, low in the sky. It was already very dark out. I'm hoping others saw it too!

Shooting star in San Diego on November 6th night

Hi,
I was coming back from shopping & around 9:45pm. Saw a blue Shiite star looks like falling down towards my north in San diego

I just witnessed a comet

I just witnessed a comet around 9:45pm Brockton, Ma 02301

shooting star

Early morning Sunday November 8th in southern Wisconsin. A blue fireball came out of nowhere and blew up. i was on the Wisconsin river and everything went from pitch black to brilliant blue light. it was daytime for about 3 seconds. It left a tail about the size of Orion for another 5 seconds. Hope others got to see that one.

Meteor shower in Central Utah

I was driving home from work at 12:30 am last Saturday morning, November 7th, when a shooting star appeared overhead, then shortly after, another one that was much further away. Pretty awesome spectacle. First one was of a yellow color and much wider than the second one, which was more white, and thin like a string.

Comet? Huge shooting star?

I live in Newport, Rhode Island and saw the same bright, white-ish/greenish ball and tail at about 4:05 am
on November 8th. I've never seen something so big moving through the sky. Comet? Happy to have found others who saw it too.

3 Shooting Stars

Driving home on the parkway around 1 am I saw three shooting stars! After seeing the first two I told myself that if I saw another I would know it was real, and another one appeared. I know this sounds peculiar and I was shocked myself but it was definitely shooting stars I saw

Green descending star

Roughly 5:40 am near ACT, Australia I saw a green shooting star, however didn't have a tail. It was noticibly larger then most stars appearance.
It seemed to be on a drastic curve downwards unlike other shooting stars I've seen that have been shooting across the sky in a horizontal direction.

Comet

I saw a comet this morning(11/08/15) at approx. 0520 hours. Did anyone else see it? I was driving S/b on The Major Deegan Expressway......

I was driving home from

I was driving home from Fitchburg and we saw a HUGE greenish/blue shooting star but it was very big around 4 am

Shooting star

Smithtown Long Island . Walking my dog 4 am, saw white big white shooting star then long green tail disappearing into the lower eastern sky by the crescent moon- awesome sight

I saw it too in sayville long

I saw it too in sayville long island New York at about 4am to the east, huge fast moving meteor between the moon and Jupiter that lasted a few seconds and then turned green and disappeared beneath the moon right on the horizon..was absolutely fascinating and kind of frightening..I also saw about 5 or so other normal meteors prior to this one all near the Leo constellation and the planets Jupiter and Venus, none as big or bright as the green one though.

I was in Foxboro, same time.

I was in Foxboro, same time. I saw it too.

Right after midnight here in

Right after midnight here in Springdale, ar to the north skies, bright large blue ball with tail falling straight down extremely fast !

SD shooting star

Around 6am MST I saw a large shooting star in Spearfish, S.D. It fell quickly at 180 degrees into the horizon of the hills with an incredible green color and a large tail following it.

Green "shooting star"

7PM PST in Irvine, California, spotted what at first seemed the be a shooting star-- but it grew significantly larger, last longer, as well as flashed green a moment before it disappeared!

Comet or ??

6:04 pm a friend sent me a picture of something big flying through the sky. they said Meteor? comet? but nothing on the calendar

Local News confirmed that it

Local News confirmed that it was Taurid meteor shower

green fireball

Did anyone else see a very large green shooting star around 4am this morning 7th Nov 2015.seen in the west from where I live on the east coast of Yorkshire and heading south to north.

Shooting stars

While driving to Yorkton from Regina Sask my son and i saw 3 very bright and distinct shooting stars to the north of us. They were very long burning... And travelled a great desent before exploding brightly close to the horizon in front of us

2.45am just saw a beautiful

2.45am just saw a beautiful huge comet in rowlandsgill tyne and wear

i have just seen a shooting star

Standing at my back door having a cigarette at 10.20 pm tonight I have just seen a shooting star come down from the sky and disappear in the trees it was fast & bright blue in colour with a sort of white tail weird but something else wow & I made a wish .lol

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