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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slow moving falling star?

This morning on my way to work I saw what appeared to me to be, a falling star. However, it fell straight down, and it moved rather slow and never changed size or color?

01-06-15 10 miles outside

01-06-15 10 miles outside Burley, ID traveling along I-84 saw a huge meteor shooting north to south. It was the closest to earth I have ever seen a meteor get. It was also the largest I have ever seen. It lasted for about 3-4 seconds I would estimate. I at first thought it was a crashing plane because it was so low and burning so bright, plus it seemed be going at a steeper angle towards earth than just perpendicular with the horizon. I was freaked for sure but it was a very beautiful thing to see.

I have been seeing large

I have been seeing large green shooting stars this past week in Fairhope, AL. So beautiful!! I have seen 3 of them, but the one tonight just lingered all the way down!! I assume it is a meteor??

It could be that you were

The Editors's picture

It could be that you were seeing a minor meteor shower. In addition to the major showers that occur every year, such as those listed in our 2015 Meteor Showers Guide, there are also minor meteor showers (those that produce less than 10 meteors per hour at peak activity).
The following links from the American Meteor Society predict activity for the week in which you saw the lights.

http://www.amsmeteors.org/2015...

And a week later:

http://www.amsmeteors.org/2015...

Hope this helps!

It sounds like you may have

The Editors's picture

It sounds like you may have seen a fireball (a very bright meteor). Checking the fireball log on the American Meteor Society site, there were 3 people that reported seeing one in the southern Idaho/upper Utah region at about 6:20 pm MST on Jan 6 (Jan 7, 1:20 Universal Time).

http://www.amsmeteors.org/memb...
For more about fireballs, you might be interested in:
http://www.amsmeteors.org/fire...

I'm from waterbury ct and saw

I'm from waterbury ct and saw a huge commet last night with a big green tail I thought it was a fire work it was so big and clear green. I looked it up to see if anyone else had seen it in CT and am now finding out it was seen in way more states than CT I'm a little ignorant on the subject so it excitied me to find out a commet could be seen for so many miles! Oh yeah in ct it was about 10:15 pm

About 9: pm this night

About 9: pm this night 2/8/2015 I have seen the largest green shooting star ... it came south east in direction just over the Henry ford bridge in southern California ... wow.

I saw 3 of them Tuesday

I saw 3 of them Tuesday morning while driving south east direction about 7:30 am in the morning in I-84 eastbound Idaho.

At 6:45 PM PST on January 3,

At 6:45 PM PST on January 3, 2015 saw a larger than usual meteor or something coming from southwest to west with a bright orange tail riding low in the sky. We live about 20 minutes from Weaverville, California.

I saw it too! It was amazing.

I saw it too! It was amazing. The biggest and brightest shooting star/meteor I have ever seen. looked incredibly low! I live in Petaluma, CA.

We saw one last night,

We saw one last night, January 3, at around 6:45pm in Redwood Valley Ca., just above Ukiah. It the so visible I was amazed.

Last night my best friend and

Last night my best friend and I saw a huge meteor in Seattle. It was a bright orange shimmer that raced across the sky! It was a beautiful shower last night filled with meteors! We had a great view from my backyard porch!

We just saw a huge "shooting

We just saw a huge "shooting star" as we headed west on I 24 in IL

Miramar, FL. We just saw a

Miramar, FL. We just saw a huge shooting star over Miramar, FL (SW Broward, NW Miami-Dade) from about 150 degrees to 330 degrees.
When the light stopped we could see the rock continue flying!!!

I live in Wisconsin and saw

I live in Wisconsin and saw something burning through the sky during sunset I'm Sunday also

While driving on I-89 in

While driving on I-89 in Burlington, VT on Nov 25th, my hubby & I saw a blue-green flash with a long white tail moving at supersonic speeds. Because he's a pilot he knew it was not man-made. We're convinced it was a meteor. I can take that one off my bucket list now!!!

Me and my wife just seen

Me and my wife just seen twenty shooting stars in a row off of Tucker rd in Macon ga I thnk it was a Meader shower so we got a blanket and later they are still falling

Iv been outside all night and

Iv been outside all night and this been the best metershower I have ever seen I love you Sharon and Landon

Saw a bright object in the

Saw a bright object in the sky falling at a rapid rate lasting longer than a shooting star. The object consisted of blues and greens and had a wonderfully bright tail. Maybe a comet? Looked like a missle. Sighting east of Weaverville NC. Pretty neat!

At approxmiately 6:20 pm Nov

At approxmiately 6:20 pm Nov 3, 2014 I saw what looked like a meteor or comet in the sky just east of Asheville NC. It was exactly like you described. "The object consisted of blues and greens and had a wonderfully bright tail".

Google Bright green shooting

Google Bright green shooting star / meteor, San Antonio, TX, 08 NOV 2014 SOS TO THE WORLD dr.turi

Google Bright green shooting

Google Bright green shooting star / meteor, San Antonio, TX, 08 NOV 2014 SOS TO THE WORLD dr.turi

Wow. I'm shocked after

Wow. I'm shocked after reading your comment. On same evening, @ sunset (wasn't dark yet) as i was taking pics of a church steeple, i noticed something trailing across sky. It wasn't like anything I've seen before. The first thought i had was- missile. Never seen a missle, but for some reason that's all i could come up with. It was fascinating! it was moving slowly enough that i probably had 30-40 seconds of viewing. The trail behind it looked like it it fizzled. What time of day was your sighting? I've hoped to find another witness, but have had no luck.Hope to hear from u soon! I live in Southeast Alabama. My email is: luv2bfitrn@gmail

I saw something last night

I saw something last night similar to your description right above the Caldecott tunnel in Oakland,Ca

I saw one last night around 9

I saw one last night around 9 pm near Austin, Tx. I was surprised as it was earlier in the night (for meteor sightings), and I wasn't aware of any meteor showers peaking at this time. But I looked it up and saw that the orionids can be visible for about a month, and it was very dark outside. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise :)

We saw two meteors between

We saw two meteors between 8:30 and 9:00 pm in Cedar Park, Texas on Saturday 11/08. The first lasted a split second. The second one had a bright green tail.

on Oct 20 2014 i seen a

on Oct 20 2014 i seen a bright green ball falling from the sky it had a small tail did anyone else see this i live in Tenn

I live in NE Alabama, I saw 3

I live in NE Alabama, I saw 3 shooting stars, the last one was huge, it was so big that i had time to get my husband to put down his drink and turn around to see it, before it burned out!! It was bright yellow, with an orange redish tail. I've never seen a shooting star of that magnitude! Beautiful and kind of scary!!

I just saw the same thing

I just saw the same thing driving home tonight at 8:40pm in northeast NJ. Amazing!

Around 1am Oct 28 2014 My

Around 1am Oct 28 2014 My friend and I seen a green ball of light form in the sky no higher then the buildings. It fell straight down very slow with a tail behind it and disappeared . I never seen anything like it! I'm in Virginia

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