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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thank you

thanks for the update, the yearly meteor showers are an even I always wait for. thanks for the interesting article. Let's unite the planets!

Meteor sighting at 11:04 pm eastern sky tail of red then green

Meteor sighting at 11:04 pm eastern sky from Long Island, New York, USA, trail of red then green then yellow. Trail was very very long and bright, running from south to north. Did anyone else see it?

I saw it from NJ. Even with

I saw it from NJ. Even with all the light pollution from NYC, it was so vivid and bright!!

very bright fireball

Same! I saw a VERY Bright White streak, the brightest I ever saw. In upstate NY. It was SO large that I can not believe did NOT feel an explosion. It was very bright white and then turned to a substantially wider orange then green and it disappeared behind a building.

This ain’t good

I am in this place and there is NO meteor shower in here when I’m here!!!!

Witnessed an Amazing Fireball from the Himalayan Foothills

Saw the most amazing fireball of my lifetime at 8 PM IST in my North-East direction. Living in the crystal clear environment of Uttaranchal Himalayas (India), I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few meteors and shooting stars but this was something else! Hence, commenting/sharing here. I'll go and look for any remains tomorrow morning in the generic area it might have hit the forest.

Fireball

I am lucky enough to have seen one fireball in my life and share your awe and excitement. Mine was nearly 20 years ago, and the apparent lump with flames almost as if it were a charcoal briquet also headed in NE direction as it appeared much closer, slower and for a longer visible duration than the meteors or space junk I had ever seen before or since.
Like your sighting, I felt it was so close ut must have caught something on fore nearby as the flames did not extinguish as it appeared ti have hit the earth just over the nearby Sierra Nevadas Mountain Range to the east of Central California. I thought of fire, or news than where I could search as my mind came to realize, I'm still driving home, stay focused, lol. Getting home after swing shift I looked up what I could only describe a fireball. Hmmm; the term is a direct description of the beautiful, scary and all the same, wonderful celestial gem I had the pleasure and honor to witness. Hearing your excitement immediately took me back as it is a sight I will always treasure. Happy stargazing all!

So jealous in MA, USA

I love seeing shooting stars and have only been fortunate enough to witness 1-2 meteor showers in my 36 yrs on this plantet! How lucky you are to have such perfectly clear skies at night. Your night sky must be FULL of stars where as where I am located my view of the stars are very limited can barely see the little dipper it's that limited

green meteor in the sky tonight

Tonight or I should say early this morning 15 April 2019 I saw the most amazing sight.
It was at 2:35am it was a green ball floating across the sky. I would say it was a shooting star, but it was much larger like a comet and with a tail, it was a bright green!!! And moved much slower than shooting stars I have seen. It was so cool!! I in Minnesota by the was, St Paul, did anyone else see it??

Meteor showers

Didn't anyone see the meteor shows over northeast Kansas , around Topeka, Tuesday, April 9, 2019 ? They were going across the sky until around 2:00 p.m. I took several pictures on my phone.

Good size one

Just happened to watch out window around 9-30 on the night of Fri March 29th near Gooderham Ont. Canada and saw a bright meteor falling for a couple of seconds.

March 29th 9.30 'ish - meteor - Ontario

Saw a decent sized meteor while driving in Killaloe, Ontario on Friday March 29th

Giant meteor crosses sky over eastern Canada

I was out flooding my rink when this giant meteor flew across the WHOLE sky. I had time to drop my hose and walk to the edge of my rink and watch it disappear over the trees as it continued on it course. it was dropping pieces as it went. I sure hope someone caught some footage of that.

Bright green meteor

Around 4:30 am this morning I looked out my window just as a beautiful bright green meteor crossed the sky. Such an exciting way to start the day here in Spotsylvania County, VA

Shooting Star in Daylight

My stonemason and I were on our building site in Campbell's Creek, Victoria, Australia and were amazed to see a shooting star/meteor at 4pm in the afternoon. It streaked across a clear blue sky and appeared to have a coloured head of pink and a long tail. It was a wonderful surprise in our southern sky.

Shooting stars

Just after 5 a.m. today, i saw two shooting stars, very bright, in the middle of Albuquerque, NM.

Saw two shooting stars over Auburn,Maine

At around 1 am today 2/ 6/2019 saw a shooting star from 10 degrees west of zenith
heading west , then a second one , same way but about 20 degrees left( south) of
the first one. White light, disappeared 30 degrees before, above horizon.

Shooting star

I saw a shooting star this morning at 3:30am in Brookfield Wisconsin

strange falling star in Dutch Caribbean.

This morning at 6.18 I saw a star just fall out of the sky straight down....I have seen falling stars but never something like this...It felt more strange than cool and left me thinking. I am sure I was not the only one that saw it. IF somebody have en explanation please let me know.
thanks

Shooting Stars in Michigan

How awesome that while traveling west bound into work this morning with my friend we witnessed TWO shooting stars! We are located in the Lansing area of Michigan.
Very very cool......WOW!

Meteror showers

I'm new to the farmers almanac.I believe the most accurate reading and up to date..I'm hoping on a beautiful gift fr the sky's this am concerning our First Meteor Shower

Meteor

I saw one this eve, I'm in waltham abbey, travelling from east to west , over the meridian line..

Shooting Stars

I saw a shooting star this morning at 5.30am in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

4 shooting stars so far over Inverkeithing

14/12/2018

I thought I was seeing things after the fourth one I found this site lol

Green white shooting star (large)

Saw this with My husband, While driving north on Birchmount Road, by Danforth Road, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada 21:15 hours, November 28, 2018

Meteor

add approximately 10:10 PM central standard time 27 November in the southern sky was a bright long greenish white streak the from the naked eye look huge and then disappeared . Not sure what I saw but it was spectacular

FIREBALL

On September 11, 2018, approx. 2:30 am, saw a big bright red-orange hunk of meteor, with a red and white tail flying over Jefferson City MO. It wasn't ready to fall anytime soon; it had a lot of burning/melting to do yet. I was out there looking for a green zinger, 21P, so this was pleasant surprise!

Meteor

It was about 415 am saw very bright light stream across the sky north east of Oceanside airport. No sound it left a trail then disappeared. I’m guessing I just saw a meteor hit. Either that or something at Camp Pendleton. It was beautiful. Very bright flash. Really cool.

meteor sighted Grass Valley Ca. Nov. 8th 9pm

Driving home on hwy 49 so.bound. saw slow streaming meteor cross the sky. It was in view about 2 seconds. very bright and beautiful!

Night-time anomaly

Viewing from Toledo,OH looking to the West (i believe)
Seen a quick glimpse of a falling star or something fall the atmosphere. Its a day early for the predicted meteor shower but was pretty.

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