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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I live in Fayetteville, GA,

I live in Fayetteville, GA, and I saw that same meteorite a little after midnight, June 29, 2015. It started out streaking through the sky orange colored and it broke apart into hundreds of pieces with colors varying from blue, dark orange, orange, yellow, and white. It flew from the south to the north, breaking apart like a straight roman candle. Usually when I've seen these, a popping sound accompanies, but not this time, so I wasn't sure if it was an actual meteorite or space debris. Either way, it was awesome!

J here in southern Utah.

J here in southern Utah. About 12:30am and I think I saw a shooting star. Thank you for such a beautiful website and coments. Such a beautiful wonder that we have above us.

My husband and I were

My husband and I were fortunate to have witnessed this comet flying very close to earth in Georgetown Georgia, it was amazing!!! It was a ball of fire with an amazing orangetail. Sight of a lifetime!!!!!!!

It was between 130 and 230 cz

It was between 130 and 230 cz me,my bf,and two sons were driving thru GA to Al so time changes,but we saw what look like a meteor with orange and blue fire ball....

I just seen a huge blue and

I just seen a huge blue and orange slow moving streak in the sky above Covington ga.

I saw the same thing at 12:28

I saw the same thing at 12:28 am central time zone and I'm in Geneva county Alabama.

Saw it take up the entire sky

Saw it take up the entire sky about 1:30 am here in MCDONOUGH. Shaking all over. Magnificent

At about 1230am my I

At about 1230am my I witnessed the most amazing light show go across the sky. It was like fireworks and so beautiful. Hartwell Ga
I feel so lucky to have seen the wonder in our sky.

Me and my girlfriend seen it

Me and my girlfriend seen it too around 1:30 am in Charlotte, NC

12:50am saw a huge falling

12:50am saw a huge falling star westward in London ontario. Looked epic

Hi, I am in NW Tasmania,

Hi, I am in NW Tasmania, Australia and about 5.30pm our time just before full darkness I witnessed a bright falling star that went blue then orange and broke up into several pieces before disappearing. it was in our eastern sky. Anyone else see the same?

I saw something just a few

I saw something just a few minutes ago that looked like what i think is a meteor. It had blue and orange fire around it and lasted only a fraction of a second. I'm curious as to whether this was a meteor or not..

Around 11 pm tonight we saw a

Around 11 pm tonight we saw a huge meteror flash across the sky...in Lake of the Woods Oregon

Camby, IN June 13-14, 2015

Camby, IN June 13-14, 2015 sometime between 12 and 2am there was a meteor with orange white bal with long blue streak that lasted 3 seconds. It was beautiful!

Around 11:45pm seen a streak

Around 11:45pm seen a streak over the Seffner / Mango Part of Hillsborough County FL. Was a Brilliant White light with a long trail for approx 5 seconds. I know 3 others at the CVS in Seffner / Mango also seen it.

I saw the same thing last

I saw the same thing last night august the 21,2015

Monday night I was on the

Monday night I was on the ohio turnpike traveling west just out side of toledo did anyone else see a fireball?

I saw a fireball in the sky

I saw a fireball in the sky over Dayton, OH in the early morning hours around 3am. White with a red tail and big.

OMG! My daughter and I saw

OMG! My daughter and I saw the exact same thing around 10 pm at the Drive in at Ender by, BC. What is it and what does it mean to you?

earlier this year ( jan or

earlier this year ( jan or feb )in northern ontario i saw a green shooting star fall towards a lake. Earlier that week I saw a falling white light about 250 metres away fall towards a lake in algonquin park. and over the course of a couple weeks i saw 3 shooting stars and 2 falling stars. Has anyone ever heard of so many sightings in one area?

I've never seen a shooting

I've never seen a shooting star or comet in the sky first hand but tonight around 9:20-9:30 P.M eastern time(us and Canada) in Pennsylvania I saw a something outlined by what looked fire from it burning in the atmosphere. Not a lot of color but still cool to see. Interestingly enough it was near the moon too.

To everyone who saw this

The Editors's picture

To everyone who saw this event:

You were lucky enough to see a type of meteor known as a "fireball." This particular fireball was seen by thousands of people from the East Coast to Pennsylvania and as far north as Quebec in Canada.

Meteors are also known as "shooting stars." Most of them are small bits of rocky material whose size is on the order of a grain of sand or a small pebble. When they enter the Earth's atmosphere, they burn up due to friction with the air. We see the result as a thin streak of light.

Fireballs occur when larger chunks of material enter the atmosphere, pieces that are perhaps a few feet in diameter.

Small space rocks are called meteoroids when they are in space. When they enter and burn up in Earth's atmosphere, they are called meteors. Any fragments that reach the ground are known as meteorites.

Jeff DeTray

I saw a shooting star heading

I saw a shooting star heading west about 7:00pm eastern Australia standard time 8 May 2015

It was 9:30 pm eastern time

It was 9:30 pm eastern time in New Jersey. I had just seen the biggest brightest cryptinite green colored meteor or something come from the sky down passed the tree line in my back yard!
I live in Clinton area bordered to Tewksbury. Pretty weird! Can anyone explain this?

I just saw it too in

I just saw it too in Burlington

Saw it too woodbridge around

Saw it too woodbridge around 930! What Was It anybody know?

I saw it as well about 930 -

I saw it as well about 930 - we were
in Delaware County NY. It was amazing to see, not sure what it was.

Saw a spectacular neon-bright

Saw a spectacular neon-bright green streak cross sky from east to west at about 9:31 p.m. just south of Purdys, NY on May 1st, 2015. We were driving on Rt. 684. This wide, soft-looking, fast-moving smudge had a small glowing tip and seemed to blend into dark pink at the end (indicating meteorite burning up?). Stunning sight!

My husband and I saw this

My husband and I saw this too! With a long green streak in Austin, TX...

My wife just came home and

My wife just came home and reported seeing the same thing. We live in NW NJ.

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