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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Hello! I also saw this.

Hello! I also saw this. Thought someone was setting off fireworks at first! I live in Virginia Beach, and I was standing outside Kempsville Rehab just before 1 AM.

My daughter just texted me

My daughter just texted me and said she saw a bright blue ball in the sky as she drove home from college. She was heading south from near NH going into northern Massachusetts, "Dad, this thing was huge and it was bright blue, I either saw a meteor or my first aliens. Totally serious!" Hmmmm . . . .could be?

Oh wow I saw it too, I was on

Oh wow I saw it too, I was on my way home from mwcc.

I just saw the biggest

I just saw the biggest falling star about 30 mins ago (10:15 pm). It appeared to be an orange and blue ball with a green tail. I was wondering if anybody else happened to see it. I live in South Georgia.

I saw the same thing. In

I saw the same thing. In Dunedin Florida it was thick green and fell so fast. It was amazing

Forgot to mention it was

Forgot to mention it was around 10:15 pm looking east northeast

I saw it in Orlando FL!

I saw it in Orlando FL! Exactly 10:15pm..thought it was a stray firework from Disney except 1000 times larger! I was driving W b on I-4 near Disney. Amazing.

I saw the same thing at abt

I saw the same thing at abt the same time in the Oneonta NY sky. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. It wAs as though I was in a Disney movie. The most beautiful thing Id ever seen. Looked like it was do very close I was amazed and still am. Got a very special feeling a wonderful one

wow how cool was that, did

wow how cool was that, did you get any pics

I saw a big bright blue

I saw a big bright blue falling object at around 4 am in colorado. Awesome sight

I just saw a orange like fire

I just saw a orange like fire ball with a long wide bright green tail falling from the sky. It didn't burn out all the way to the ground in the Palmetto Bay, Florida area. It was beautiful.

I just saw one but with a

I just saw one but with a blue ball fall out of the sky about 45 minutes ago heading south on the turnpike by exit 16 for 152nd/the zoo. Beautiful sight

Large meteor spotted around 8

Large meteor spotted around 8 pm in the Princeton NJ area. Had a bright green tail, and could see other colors near the head (I think). I have never seen anything so close, or bright. It eventually disintegrated in the short anount of time we saw it. I'm talking exceptionally large. Defiantly a moment I hope to remember forever.

I also saw a large green

I also saw a large green meteor around 8 PM while driving on RT 206 in Hillsborough. It looked so close it did'nt seem to be real. I feel so lucky to have seen it.

I saw the same thing

I saw the same thing yesterday at the same time. Unreal. I barely believed it. So close but so far away

I just saw the exact same

I just saw the exact same thing tonight that you just described. I've seen meteor showers before but never nothing like that. It was surreal.

Just saw the most beautiful

Just saw the most beautiful site in my life. Didn't realize what I saw because it was so surreal. As I was driving home on Route 520 in Holmdel/Marlboro, NJ area about 8:15 or so, it was the largest meteor. Timed it perfectly as I was able to catch it. Could not believe my eyes. Would love to experience that again in my lifetime.

Date: October 3, 2014 Time:

Date: October 3, 2014
Time: 8pm Eastern Standard
Place: Morristown, New Jersey

A large shooting star (meteor) was seen traveling across the sky. It was extremely bright (close) and its tail seemed to be multi-colored. It was beautiful. I never saw one this close. It moved from left to right, falling on a slant toward the east. I immediately thought of a wish, as did my grandson whom immediately cried out, "Make a wish"....I did.... and so did he, wishing he would live in the land of minions from the kid movie,"Despicable Me"...by the way, great movie, took me years to watch it and when I did was moved to tears....

At any rate, our shooting star was magnificent and memorable...I wonder if anyone else saw it, sure they did....
PS> My wish was to live with everyone I loved, and that they loved me too....all you need it love....
The Grand Am

I saw one at 8 pm last night

I saw one at 8 pm last night in Maryland traveling south to north in the east sky. Blue in color and by far the largest meteorite I had ever seen. One was caught on video further north in Montreal.

tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/lebuzz/archives/2014/10/20141002-231220.html

I've seen exactly what you

I've seen exactly what you described in long beach ca years ago. Come to find out it was a failed practice missile launch. Dud!!

I'm pretty sure I witnessed

I'm pretty sure I witnessed the same that night here in Bridgeport, Ct. I have seen some nice ones, but if this was the one you saw, it was exceptionally beautiful, green in color, and burned for a long time..very pretty :-)

Saw an amazing fireball over

Saw an amazing fireball over wever iowa on Sept.28th around 9:30pm. It was absolutely stunning.

I live in Marion co Tenn I

I live in Marion co Tenn I ant seen one in about 12 yes ago I wish I would see one it sure would make my day :)

:

I was eating outside on my

I was eating outside on my porch at around 8:48 to 8:50 pm on September 25 2014 in Fairfield California. In the South - West a star fell with tail Bright white... could not tell the distance. but its position was angled at the clock hand 5 to 6 .. not completely straight down angled. later I saw a blink light in the West ... it was not a plane no tail. several planes I did see leave the direction from the earlier star.

I saw the largest Firebal

I saw the largest Firebal over interstate 64 leaving Richmond VA tonight..Didnt know what I was seeing and drove what seemed to be right under it and my phone seemed to crackle..It was approx 1:30 am..I freaked out and called state police ..Dispatcher called me back to tell me fireballs were bwing spotted..It was huge anjust kept flashing.It didnt seemto descend like other videos I saw..Just kept flashing...I watched it in the rearview mirror until I couldn't see it anymore...

Please ignore above smart

Please ignore above smart phone typos ;-)

I also saw a giant fireball,

I also saw a giant fireball, 9-23-14 approx 10:00pm EST, looking west in NE Ohio. It was larger than anything I've ever seen, and looked as if it crashed to Earth. Tail was an incredible, well defined red/orange trail of sparks. It appeared to be so close that I've been half-joking about the military shooting down a UFO over the Ravenna Arsenal, since that was what it looked like from my perspective.

Northern Indiana, looking NW

Northern Indiana, looking NW saw a giant fireball with long tail. Seemed to last for about 5 sec. (I am sure it was shorter)
Looked is if it crashed into earth!

I just saw one that lasted a

I just saw one that lasted a good 12 secs from sw horizon to the ne horizon so bright and defined tail went right pver me

on Sept,24th 2014 @12:10am

on Sept,24th 2014 @12:10am ish Eastern time Frederick, MD area facing east, I was out for my midnight smoke on the balcony as I also look at the stars too and I did witness what appeared to be a shooting star. It was bright white circle, kinda felt like it dropped, paused and then Zoomed in the eastern sky direction and it was quickly gone in a blink of an eye. the event happened very fast. I waited for more to come. but that was it.

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