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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Around 10:15pm EST, 9/23/14

Around 10:15pm EST, 9/23/14 Tuesday in Reynoldsburg,OH: was out for my usual night run, NE bound up Lancaster Ave., when I looked up and saw a giant fireball with a tail hurtling towards the earth at mach speed. Lasted a few seconds and then exploded....blew my mind. Never seen anything like it before.

Saw the fireball (shooting

Saw the fireball (shooting star?) at 9:07 p.m. CST Lombard, IL. Very cool!

Saw same as IL after 9PM

Saw same as IL after 9PM driving east on I94 in Wisconsin. Very bright and long tail.

I also saw this fireball. We

I also saw this fireball. We were headed south and I saw it on my left. It lasted a long time as far as shooting stars go (maybe 3 seconds) and had a long tail. Looked blue in color.

I saw it too driving home

I saw it too driving home from Pittsburgh heading NW towards Ohio. It was amazing. I didn't get to see the final explosion as it went behind a hill from my viewpoint but was wndering if I was insane for thinking that it was as huge as I thought.

My son and I saw it as well

My son and I saw it as well as we drove northbound on High Street through Clintonville. It was very amazing. Couldn't believe how bright it was in the city. It was brighter and larger than anything I had seen over the ocean.

I was just on my way home at

I was just on my way home at about 10:30pm, i live in buffalo ny, I'm not sure what i saw but it slowly fell out of the sky and then disappeared, i saw it over the river. If anybody else saw it please let me know

I TOO SAW THE SAME THING I

I TOO SAW THE SAME THING I LIVE IN ELMA NY IT WAS A GIANT SHOOTING STARR AT THE SAME TIME AS YOU DID ... WEIRD

I saw a very bright white one

I saw a very bright white one very low. I saw those over North New Jersey around 8:30pm on September 17, 2014. Did anyone else see this?

Slatebelt area of PA...also

Slatebelt area of PA...also saw about a dozen meteors last night around 7:30PM. Really cool! Never saw that many before. Kids first time seeing meteors too!!

We live in northeast Oregon.

We live in northeast Oregon. Has anyone seen the pale orange lights in the sky. ? My husband saw them first approximately 9-7-2014 and then we both saw it on 9-16-2014. It is not a meteor or a falling star. It changes directions extremely fast, seconds to cross the valley then gone. Anyone have information ?? It's also not any type of aircraft that I know of. No flashing lights just a pale orange glow.

I do live in oregon and saw a

I do live in oregon and saw a shining thing outside. I thought it was a shooting star or something, but looked on here and thought this was my answer.

Yes I did. A tad earlier over

Yes I did. A tad earlier over Point Pleasant NJ heading almost directly north and low in the sky.

My husband and I and our two

My husband and I and our two oldest children saw the huge fireball with a tail shoot downward and explode into a greenish light then disappear. Saw it Sept. 13, at 8:14pm.

by the way that was in

by the way that was in Chilliwack B.C. looking toward Abbotsford

Just saw the same bright

Just saw the same bright white light with a tail @1055 in Maryland . Pretty cool too fast though to take pictures.

Me and my daughter also just

Me and my daughter also just saw the meteor it also scared me with the bright lights.I had no idea what that was very nice but to fast.

I did saw one around 10.45 pm

I did saw one around 10.45 pm

I saw the same in the lower

I saw the same in the lower eastern sky

I live in NE Ohio and

I live in NE Ohio and regularly see shooting stars but have never seen a fireball. It lasted about 1 sec and looked like something exploded, fell and disappeared without a trace. Magnificent !

we live in S.C. and at

we live in S.C. and at aproximately 4:30 a.m. me and my husband saw a bright orange ball go across the sky, it lasted longer than a shooting star, and then it looked like it exploded into 2 pieces, we dont have a clue what that was

I also saw a big blue

I also saw a big blue fireball fly across the sky sat evening over greenlake

I just saw something that

I just saw something that looked like a white ball of fire shoot across the sky 9/11/2014 around 9 pm it looked like a comet . Did anyone see it?

My husband saw the bright

My husband saw the bright shooting stars halfway across the southern horizon last night 9/11/2014 approximately 9pm California time. Had a very long trail..

My neighbor and I saw it.

My neighbor and I saw it. What was it?

I saw it! It was amazing! It

I saw it! It was amazing! It looked super bright and like it was really close, didn't it? I've been trying to research it online to find out what it was but have found no info.

We saw 12 fireballs starting

We saw 12 fireballs starting in the east coming about 2 at a time, then heading west as some burned out. Can't find anything out in regards to this, what was it? August 12th around 10:00 pm

I saw it while on Mt.Diablo

I saw it while on Mt.Diablo just before dawn. A large white ball with a large dust trail. Could not believe what I was seeing. Was not a meteor.

Just saw a "shooting star" at

Just saw a "shooting star" at 9:30ish PM CST 9/12/2014 while taking my dog out to go to the bathroom.

I saw exactly what you're

I saw exactly what you're describing - but on 8/19 just after 9pm. Been watching skies here abt 17yrs + NVR saw such a lie - large bright white which traveled just over my house for abt 3" in sky. No tail - no color change - no satellite (seen many) or ISS. I have no idea what it was-like no other shooting star. Bright as a headlight pointing to ground-then just gone. Live in NH, very close to airport and CERTAIN wasn't a plane either. Odd others describe same thing at different places around globe just days after. Have NO idea what it was+have found no info explaining it either.

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