Meteor Shower Calendar 2018

2018 Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

Meteor Shower-Taurid, by Channone Arif-Wikimedia Commons

Is there a meteor shower tonight, or should you only hope to see a few falling stars (sporadic meteors)?

Channone Arif: Wikimedia Commons

When is the next meteor shower? See the Almanac’s 2018 Meteor Shower Calendar for the dates of all the principal meteor showers during the year, plus meteor shower viewing tips.

The most common question is “Where can I see the meteor showers?”

The answer is: ANYWHERE in the sky! Yes, for this type of celestial wonder, your specific location does not matter.

And the next question is “When can I see the meteor showers?”

The answer is: Most showers are midnight to dawn. Yes, they’re for you night owls or early risers. However, the famous Geminids are all night and some showers do happen in the late evening. See the chart below.

2018 Meteor Shower Calendar

Is there a meteor shower tonight? When is the next meteor shower? 

Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year.  Find viewing tips for the two “biggies” 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. 4 25
Lyrid Predawn S Apr. 22 10 Thatcher
Eta Aquarid Predawn SE May 4 10 Halley
Delta Aquarid Predawn S July 30 10
Perseid Predawn NE Aug. 11–13 50 Swift-Tuttle
Draconid Late evening NW Oct. 9 6 Giacobini-Zinner
Orionid Predawn S Oct. 21–22 15 Halley
Taurid Late evening S Nov. 9 3 Encke
Leonid Predawn S Nov. 17–18 10 Tempel-Tuttle
Andromedid Late evening S Nov. 25–27 5 Biela
Geminid All night NE Dec. 13–14 75
Ursid Predawn N Dec. 22 5 Tuttle
*May vary by one or two days    **Moonless, rural sky    Bold = most prominent
  • “Predawn” means an hour or so before morning twilight. Best time to view most major showers.
  • “Late evening” means approximately between 10 p.m. and midnight (or a little past).

In general, most major meteor showers are best seen after midnight; some do not even appear until after then. Usually, a better time to see them is after 2 a.m., and the best time is about an hour or so just before morning twilight. Geminids, however, can be seen starting earlier, such as around 9 or 10 p.m., until morning twilight. Sometimes Draconids may be visible at nightfall through early evening.

See the monthly Sky Watch for highlights of the night sky and a printable sky map!

Meteor Shower Viewing Tips

  • For everyone, weather conditions and light pollution are the only reasons you can not see the showers. The sky needs to be dark and clear, away from all the city lights. Bright moonlight, within a few days of a full Moon, will also reduce the number of meteors that you will see. 
  • Where to look? The best place to start is between the radiant and the zenith (straight above you). The radiant is where the meteors appear to start from, such as the constellation Perseus, from which the Perseid meteor showers appear to radiate.
  • When to look? The time of the year for each shower is determined by when in Earth’s orbit it crosses the stream of meteoroids. On the chart below, see the “date of maximum,” which shows when meteor showers will be the strongest.
  • Note that the “best” viewing times are usually predawn and late evening. In nearly all showers, the radiant is highest just before dawn. (The Geminid meteor showers are visible all night long, since Gemini arises just an hour or two after nightfall; the radiant is highest a little after midnight.) Sporadic meteors (unrelated to a shower and commonly called shooting stars) can be seen on any night, but increase in frequency after midnight and peak just before dawn.
  • 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. So between midnight and dawn, you’ll be viewing the meteors head-on, for a more frequent display.
  • You don’t need any special equipment. In fact, binoculars do not work for meteor showers. The naked eye is best.
  • Spread a blanket on the ground and look up into the dark night sky.

For more information, click here to read our article, “What are Meteor Showers: Facts About Shooting Stars.”

Reader Comments

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Large Shooting Star

I was heading north on US23 near Flint when I saw a high shooting star at 616 am on February 15, 2018. It was beautiful!

CALIFORNIA- LOOKED LIKE A 747 PLANE ON FIRE IN NORTH/CENTRAL CA

Tonight, 1/19/18, at 6:10pm, my mom saw a huge fireball over north/central CA that she said looked like a huge 747 on fire & crashing. She described it as fully ablaze and very large, though she could tell it was very far away. She viewed it from Yuba City, California, but very distant & still huge from a very far distance. She said "I could tell it was really far away, but even tho it was obviously very distant, it was still really, really huge and fully ablaze. It literally looked like a 747 was on fire & crashing to earth. I was terrified it may land on houses. It looked really bad. It was so huge, even from here, so it had to have been enormous. Please let me know if you hear of any plane crashes or asteroids on fire, because this thing was so huge, so clear even from here, and completely on fire & I'm hoping people didn't get killed. It was so huge... It must be something really bad." If anyone else saw it or knows what happened, can you please reply to me? I'd really appreciate it. Now it's making me crazy from wondering. I can't find a single thing on the internet. She said it was super creepy, & she's kind of a sky watcher like I am. It must've been pretty impressive for her to voice message me in somewhat of a panic. I hope I can find out something. Thank you so much for reading this, & ANY info you can provide. :-)

Northern California shooting star large

I saw this as well. I was on the road near the Sacramento Airport and I wondered if it was a shooting star or a plane about to crash. It was huge unlike any shooting star I've ever seen before.

I saw this from south Denver,

I saw this from south Denver, Colorado a little past 7pm.

Green light in sky

I saw the green fire ball last night about 2ish am in uk right out side bedroom window it was beautiful

green light in sky

correction it was 12:30am

Green fireball

I saw a green fireball falling from the sky on Tuesday, January 16th around 7:15 pm. I was driving down I80 eastbound near I55 exchange. It was northeast. Beautiful!

Metro/ shooting star

I'm in Essex UK. Just seen a meteor/ shooting star 2. 25 pm A huge tail and fireball, so excited, but I see there are no showers for this date ( 19 1 2018)

Fireball Tuesday night

Saw huge green fireball in northeastern horizon in Champaign, Illinois. Very cool.

Michigan fireball

Would this have created large enough debris that fell to earth?

Meteor

At approximately 8:10pm all the northern windows in the house lite up brightly with a pale orange glow. I figured it was a meteor and wish I had seen it. What I thought was confirmed when a friend texted me of a huge meteor a friend had seen at the same time. When I consulted the meteor web sites they were all offline due to the many reports coming in of a large meteor event in Sourthern Michigan. I'm 80 miles south of Michigan in the Lima, Ohio suburbs.

Fireball in the sky

I was driving home on January 16, 2018 at approximately 8:10 p.m. in Bedford, OH and looked toward the northwest sky and saw a huge circle of fire falling toward the earth. It was so large that it seemed like it could have landed anywhere near me. I wasn't sure what I saw until I got home and looked it up and confirmed that it was a fireball. A very special gift that I had the opportunity to witness.

Fireball

Yes! This was a spectacular meteor, a type known as a fireball. There are many dozens of reports from midwestern states and Canada on the American Meteor Society (AMS) web site. 

About 40% the reporters mention hearing sound (as in BOOM!) associated with this fireball. This is extraordinary – and a sure indicator that this meteor was a big one.

There are lots of amazing videos of this object online. The fireball briefly lit up the ground like daylight. –Jeff DeTray

saw fire fall from sky several spots near Williamston, mi

Driving home from east Lansing tonight, saw fire fall from sky. Different places in the area. Others saw it too. What the heck was it?

Fireball meteor

It was a brilliant type of meteor called a fireball. How lucky you saw this! There are many reports coming in.

METEOR OVER MICHIGAN!

Did not see it, but MAN did I feel it and hear it around 815. Cruised right over us. Heard the rumbling and then BOOM. All of Michigan felt it. Crazy! Is there supposed to be a meteor shower tonight?

biggest meteor I've ever seen!

At 8:10pm tonight over near Middleburg, Ohio. It was the biggest, brightest meteor I've ever seen!

Green tailed meteor?

Just saw something fast, green and bright as heck fall straight down toward the eastern horizon! It almost made me drive off the road. Beautiful! What was it though?!

Saw it too!

I am in East Liverpool, OH and had a green “shooting star” come down about 50 yards in front of my car right around 8:10pm too! (It May have been a few minutes after but right around there!) it was big and scared me at first! I even thought it might be a flare or something! Obviously there was something coming in over Ohio tonight!

Huge Meteor!!!

I saw a huge Meteor at 7:13pm In TwinLakes WI. It was directly is front of me while I was driving east of twin Lakes WI. It a bright ball of fire, greenish in color.

Meteor Shower

I counted 4 this morning at 6:47am in Toronto, DVP/401 area

meteor shower

Is there will be a meteor shower or a myth..

GEMINIDS

I saw GEMINIDS tonight in East-London.
14-12-2017 at 00.22am.

I saw it in simcoe ontario

I saw it in simcoe ontario area
around 3am

Geminids

I was able to see about 8-10 in 5 mins time over Arkansas around 1030pm.

I SAW THEM TONIGHT

COUNTED 4 IN THE NORTH SKY OVER TEXAS 12PM

Geminid Showers

We've been overcast most times when the Perseid Showers and the Geminid Showers show up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.

Shooting star

a.m. Bradenton Florida, making a wish, just in case! Beautiful and so fast.

Beatiful shootings starts

Saw 4 to be exact probably minutes from each other. We had a nice fire going and we just looking at the sky i was just commenting how clear and nice the sky was looking and then we had the 4 shooting stars back to back. Palm bay, Brevard County, Fl.

shooting star

december6,2017 at 11:20 pm I have seen a shooting star just 3sec I think..its so amazing its my first time to see it..

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