Meteor Shower Calendar 2020: When Is the Next Meteor Shower?

Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

By Bob Berman
December 29, 2019
Meteor Shower

The next meteor shower is the Quadrantids on January 3–4! See viewing details—plus, the full 2020 Meteor Shower Calendar covering the dates of all the principal meteor showers.

The Next Meteor Shower: The Quadrantids

January 3-4, 2020: The year’s first major meteor shower is the Quadrantids, peaking on the night of Friday, January 3, into the predawn hours of Saturday, January 4

After the Geminid and Perseid meteor showers, the Quadrantid meteor shower is the third-most-active display of the year, with approximately 25 meteors visible per hour during the shower’s peak. Unlike other major showers, whose periods of peak activity often span multiple nights, the Quadrantids’ peak lasts only a few hours—don’t miss it! 

And here’s some good news: There’s no Moon in the predawn hours (2 a.m. till dawn) this year! The Moon, which will be full on January 10, will have set well before dawn, allowing for maximum darkness and optimal viewing conditions.

2020 Meteor Shower Calendar

Is there a meteor shower tonight? When is the next meteor shower? Find dates and times of “best viewing” below.

Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year, though the peak of a shower may vary by a day or two. 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.

Meteor Showers 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.
  • 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? The answer is: See the chart above for “best viewing.” In nearly all showers, the radiant is highest just before dawn. But anytime 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 arises 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). 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 for meteor showers. The naked eye is best.

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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Lacey Washington98503 , i was

Lacey Washington98503 , i was outside between 10:30- 11pm i was facing NE i think. On college street yelm high way on the side street i was looking crossed to the lows parking lot. It look like a ball of fire it happen so fast i shouted turn around turn around when she did it was gone! Did we all see the same one... Nobody believes me that i seen that

i, too, live off college

i, too, live off college street in Lacey WA and just saw the coolest thing ever. A big, bright ball went shooting across sky around 1:00 am. Had a tail on it and was very quick. Never seen anything like it. Wow - did anyone else see it???

August 23, 2014 - 3:15 a.m.,

August 23, 2014 - 3:15 a.m., Green burning Meteor inseen in Arkansas, meteor ejected something half way through the burn. Most likely, meteor contained high amounts of nickel to burn so green. Five second burn time. Just happened to be looking right at it when it entered the atmosphere.

We saw it too over eureka

We saw it too over eureka springs at that same time. Look like it flared up right before it disappeared.

I saw a Shooting Star last

I saw a Shooting Star last night (AUG 23) around 9PM. . It was white and thicker that the rest that I've seen before. .

Mary - My husband and I saw

Mary - My husband and I saw that too! It was the same night and time, and as you said, it was white and thicker than other ones we have seen!

We saw it too! It was huge,

We saw it too! It was huge, bright, and looked like it had a green glow around it. Seemed way too big for a shooting star. Anyone know what it actually was???

I saw it also, near 9 pm I

I saw it also, near 9 pm I was in Kenosha WI.

Yes I did . In area 34235

Yes I did . In area 34235
Very bright and fast.
Was walking the dog.

Yes I did . In area 34235

Yes I did . In area 34235
Very bright and fast.
Was walking the dog.

Last night Aug, 17th, 2014 I

Last night Aug, 17th, 2014 I saw the most amazing falling star. It was huge and didnt arc across the sky it seemed to fall straight down. It was in the south south west and bright orange. Did anyone else see it?

I live in Pittsburg Missouri

I live in Pittsburg Missouri if that helps.

Yes! We saw it from the beach

Yes! We saw it from the beach in New Jersey and were pretty sure it was a falling star but also surprised that it was so big.

I saw a Star UFO falling the

I saw a Star UFO falling the same time. They arr memicing stars.

Yes, I saw this in Southern

Yes, I saw this in Southern CA, Orange County. This was the strangest, brightest, most beautiful thing I had ever seen in the sky. I thought it could have been a firework, since I didn't believe my eyes; it was stunning. It fell straight down, with a bright white tail and then had bright orangey colors coming off of it. It seemed to have a tiny break in the tail and then was bright again. It lasted for longer than I thought it would, but not long enough because when I shouted to my friends to look, it was gone.

Did I witness a star die? I'm

Did I witness a star die? I'm in Tacoma, WA. I swear at 5 minutes to 5 a.m.facing the eastern sky, I saw a star go out. About 9 inches north if you could measure from the moon, there was an isosceles triangle of stars, with the brightest one on the top, top being west/bottom being east. In the middle of this triangle was a star that I swear I had a tail pulling from the moon so it was traveling north if it was a comet. I tried to get a picture but my camera wouldn't focus on its dim light. And as I looked up current star map, I checked the star location again and saw it tripple in brightness and poof was gone. I was watching it for over 15 minutes before trying to snap a picture or id it from a star map. Was this a late meteor, or the death of a star?

Saw one tonight arnd 9:30

Saw one tonight arnd 9:30 ish! I live in warner robins ga. It was my very first one i wasn't even trying to find one but im so excited I wanted to see if any one else saw it. BEAUTIFUL! !

Hey! I saw a bright, white,

Hey! I saw a bright, white, slow moving object followed distantly by a dim, slow moving object between 11:45 and 11:58 pm pst last night from southwestern bc, canada. I assumed it was a satellite, but it confused me when it 'wobbled' a little bit. It lasted about 8secs before disappearing either in the moonlight (if it was a satellite) or into nothing. It was suggested that this was a 'fireball' but it seems like it lasted too long. Any ideas if this was a fireball or orbiting satellite??

I have been seeing this also

I have been seeing this also the past few weeks around that same time frame. I am in the US in Colorado. They have been in the northern sky and also a little east if you're looking straight up. They stay lit for a few seconds, disappear then reappear and so on. In one case it flashed very brightly & disappeared. Thought it was satellites as well but, felt it odd that they would keep disappearing as they were.

Yeah! I saw 1 yesterday and 1

Yeah! I saw 1 yesterday and 1 today! Yay! I feel so lucky because I have never seen a shooting star before in my life!

Hi i live in Ireland i also

Hi i live in Ireland i also seen bright lights lasting about 15sec or more its not a satellite i know the difference between them, one time i was watching 1 and it changed course it was very strange but the meteor shower in the 12th-13th of this month was awesome

Omg, I seen 3 two nights ago,

Omg, I seen 3 two nights ago, 2 yesterday and 3 tonight!!! They looked like directly above my house and all 3 shot to the west!!! We couldn't believe we soon so many!!! Odd thing is, every single one except one of them changed direction drastically!!!

Please don't say/ write "I

Please don't say/ write "I SEEN".

The Perseids meteor shower is

The Editors's picture

The Perseids meteor shower is going on now. But there are also minor meteor showers making a show as well. The Alpha Capricornids and the Kappa Cygnids can produce slow-moving meteors. Alphas with some fireballs; Kappas are sometimes quite bright with fireballs. Could it be one of those that you saw? If I've done the calculations correctly, the International Space Station was not over North America at that time. For future and past sightings of the ISS and satellites, see:
http://spotthestation.nasa.gov...
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/re... 
(click on SkySearch)

me toooooooooooo saw a

me toooooooooooo saw a shooting starrrrr

The only problem with the

The only problem with the Perseids (which my Grandfather, Nonno Giuseppe loved to view) is that is usually RAINS here during that time. Only once did I go to the balcony at 4 am one morning in Aug and see a FALLING STAR!!!! I made a wish! "May it break in my favor" <:-)....waidaminit <:-( Oh no -- that was a wishbone wish......

In 2014, it's best to catch

In 2014, it's best to catch the Perseids a week in advance of their peak because the full Moon falls on August 10 and the glare of the Moonlight will make it harder to see them. At least you know now!

My husband and I are going to

My husband and I are going to the mountains of North Georgia to view the Perseid Shower On the 11 and 12 of Aug 2014. What are our chances of a good viewing?

21 de Julho 2014 at 6.23 Am i

21 de Julho 2014 at 6.23 Am i was driving when a saw a Comet ... It WAS REALLY REALLY BIG it was a big ball of fire crossing the blue shy for really long time when i lost it from my eyes i still saw the light and all the way that the comet made on the shy, i was really scary because it was big and it dindt disaper on air i saw it during like almost 10 mints crossing the sky on fire and it didnt disappear just keep on going... me and my boyfriend we just froze lokking at that !! But still nothing on the News.... :/
Did any of you saw it?

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