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
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.”


Reader Comments

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Just saw the same thing

Just saw the same thing around Hackensack/Paramus area!!! That was amazing!!!

saw a blue-green streak

saw a blue-green streak across the sky at 9:30 pm in n nw CT.

My husband saw it too in

My husband saw it too in River Edge, NJ.

I saw it in fair lawn, NJ.

I saw it in fair lawn, NJ. Very large compared to shooting stars. Moved fast. Tail like yellow fire not too long. Moved across my view of the night sky in about 4 seconds.

My wife and saw a large

My wife and saw a large bright meteor with a long bright blue tail that lasted about 5 seconds. It shot downward. Northwest, Houston, TX

I saw it in New Hampshire,

I saw it in New Hampshire, too.

i saw this too... It was 9:30

i saw this too... It was 9:30 pm and I was sitting outside my school in Torrington ct. spacing out and saw a greenish bright light travel from the sky in a downward motion with the tail ... It was all over in seconds... The sky was very cloudy with no stars visible. What could it be!?

We saw this also. A blue ball

We saw this also. A blue ball with a tail and it exploded like a firework. Troy n.y.

Friday may 1st,2015, 9:40ish,

Friday may 1st,2015, 9:40ish, my son , Zachary, and i saw fireball in night sky traveling from east to west . we were returning from seseme place, traveling north on nj turnpike, passing meadowlands.... when we saw shooting star, super bright with tail [about 30'] streaking across sky. it seemed to come from [like]2oclock [in sky], across top of nyc, left overhead , exploding as fireball at About [like]10 oclock, maybe over Pennsylvania . great one.

I saw it too. I was driving

I saw it too. I was driving north on the new jersey turnpike.. it was amazing like 4 seconds..

We saw it, too here in

We saw it, too here in Milford, DE. It was amazing :) right place at the right time.

April 22 2015 around 10:16 pm

April 22 2015 around 10:16 pm in Montreal, Canada a flash of light resembling a point or missile as some describe. Meteor? Id say it looked like the outline of spades in a deck of cards very brightly illuminated or on fire . It flew across the sky seemed to have a trail or just from the light happening so fast. nothing like Ive seen, as falling stars seemed to go a bit slower and not so bright other times ive seen them in the country, and comet was huge round and a ball of fire that I only saw once in the 70's. quite interesting to see, so fast so bright only lasted an instant.
Would love to know if any other have seen something similar on this evening.
re: meteor or falling star . over the mountain Montreal april 22nd 2015. 10:17 pm

Saw the exact same thing

Saw the exact same thing tonight at 9:30 pm in Bonita Springs FL . Suddenly appeared, very low, very bright and big and shot to the right and then suddenly was gone. It seemed lower than clouds. Then an owl appeared. Mmmmm

I seen something very similar

I seen something very similar to this today (27/04/15) in lakesland,nsw, australia around 5.34pm. Roundish white object with a 'flame tail' ... moved very fast and then disappeared about 10 mins later. It started off very high in the sky and descended. Very intriguing. I tried to take a pic but my phone couldnt zoom in enough.... am I correct in saying this was a meteor??? Or something else???

well when I saw it I taught

well when I saw it I taught it was just a plane because I didn't expect the lyrid meteor to pass by I saw it at around 8:14PM while walking with my friend I live here at the Philippines...

Big bright light, to big to

Big bright light, to big to be a star !
Me and my partner where just driving back from Stansted Airport up to Lincoln (UK) as we where driving 1h in our journey we saw a really bright white light. We could not decide to what this was, so when we arrived home we took the binoculars out to see if we could figure this out. It looks to have green shimmer to it and it was lowering closer to the horizont as we where looking. This where in the west direction at between 21.00-23.00 on Saturday 12/4 evening/night. Anyone els seen this and help us out? We think it might have been a comet or something similar. :)

I saw a meteor last night in

I saw a meteor last night in VA at around 10:45 PM. It was a beautiful sight!!!

Saw a beautiful shooting star

Saw a beautiful shooting star in the south sky (while observing a bright Jupiter) in Maryland between ~9-9:20pm

April 11, 2015, 1:16 AM, I

April 11, 2015, 1:16 AM, I just saw what I initially thought would be a falling star but it was very large and had a greenish glow to it and a visible tail. I saw this while driving through lLittle Rock, AR and it was in the E-NE direction. It looked like it surely hit somewhere 'close''. Any idea what this was? Comet maybe?

I saw that green light too...

I saw that green light too... I thought it was a shooting star...

It was also around the same

It was also around the same time... I'm in Greenville MS

3.23.15 approximately

3.23.15 approximately 4:00Am

I spotted a shooting star high in the outer space moving extremely slow. I may be one of the rare few that had the chance to see it.

I just seen the biggest

I just seen the biggest falling star ever right now in the sky in San Jose ca at 10:54 pm. It looked like a big fireball falling down from the sky.

About 9:05 march 10 southwest

About 9:05 march 10 southwest michigan me and my wife seen a large meteor stretch as far south as we could see , to as far north as we could see , not even a minute later a team of them (8-10) all traveling together appears above us traveling east to west and eventually fade ,directly followed bye maybe five more that fade. I can't seem to find info on them being recorded before. So I ask was the first one a meteor and the group of them shooting stars. It was awesome and like nothing I've ever seen

Meteors and shooting stars

The Editors's picture

Meteors and shooting stars are two different names for the same thing. In other words, a meteor is a shooting star, and a shooting star is a meteor.

On any given night, there are always a few bright meteors somewhere in the world, and it sounds like you were lucky enough to see one.

A group of objects traveling together may have been the result of a largish meteor that broke into multiple pieces when it hit the Earth's atmosphere. To see two groups of meteors within a few minutes of one another is unusual. Again, consider yourself lucky!

There is also a chance that what you saw was some "space junk" re-entering the atmosphere. There are thousands of bits of rockets and defunct satellites orbiting the Earth, and some of them occasionally re-enter the atmosphere and burn up.

Whatever you saw, I'm sorry I missed it!

Jeff DeTray

I seen a huge one biggest I

I seen a huge one biggest I ever seen last night 11th March uk tim around 9pm. Ish

I live in Cathedral City, CA

I live in Cathedral City, CA and saw a green falling star or meteorite in the north sky on Saturday night. It looked so close and it fell and the faded out. It was bright lime green and quite large it the sky. No clouds in sight. Awesome

I saw a bright object falling

I saw a bright object falling straight down in Charleston SC tonight around 12:30 am. It was strange to me because any other meteors I've seen before have gone across the sky. It seems this fell fairly close. I'd like to find out more but the local report disappeared from the newspaper online (also a little strange).

I saw the exact thing around

I saw the exact thing around 9:30pm PST in Seattle. Very bright and moved slower than a falling star as at seemed to fall straight down in the sky.

I was out late Friday night

I was out late Friday night around 11pm, I saw theis awesomeness green light fading out going straight down, then...poof, disappeared. I dunno meteor cuz I never seen one green and going down,what happened to it.? I will never for get the beauty of it! Clovis, California