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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You may want to have your

You may want to have your eyes or your head examined. A huge fire ball that flew across the sky for 10 minutes....LOL I don't think so....

My cousin and some of his

My cousin and some of his friends saw it, too! I'm assuming in Greeley cause that's where he lives, and he's freaking out about it. Just wanted to let you know someone else saw it!

hello ! good !

hello ! good !

I'm back with the stars and

I'm back with the stars and glad I found your website. I saw the Geminid meteor shower 2 years ago and I saw around 30. I sat on our rooftop at 2pm until morning. It was magnificent. Hope to see them again this August. Hopefully:)

I sat around 2am I mean. I

I sat around 2am I mean. I live in Taiwan by the way. I was very lucky to have seen a lot.

Meteor experts around the

Meteor experts around the world are scratching their heads about this one. The Camelopardalid meteor shower was a bust, to put it mildly.

Even under ideal conditions, experienced meteor observers saw fewer than 10 Camelopardalid meteors. Measurements made using radar indicate that many Camelopardalid meteors were simply too faint to see with the unaided eye. They were up there but below the threshold of visibility. I personally saw only two Camelopardalids, although one of them was pretty spectacular -- a long, slow-moving meteor that brightened and dimmed a couple of times as it trailed across the sky.

It is disappointing for us when science makes predictions that are not borne out by reality. In astronomy, it's happened twice this year, first with Comet ISON and now with the Camelopardalid meteors.

These are examples of one of the most beautiful things about science. In the community of science, both successes and failures are always right out in the open for all to see. In pursuit of scientific knowledge, we often learn more from the failures than we learn from the successes. Astronomers accumulated a large amount of data concerning the Camelopardalid meteors and are already analyzing it and learning from it.

You can bet that the next time circumstances suggest a similar meteor shower may occur, astronomers will apply what they have learned from the Camelopardalid meteors. The knowledge gained in May 2014 will make future predictions more accurate.

Jeff DeTray

We sat outside all night,

We sat outside all night, giving ourselves some serious neck cramps and didn't see a single meteor on the night of May 24th. When searching the net for comments from others or specifics about this lack of the meteor showers, no one has said anything about it. Zilch! I wonder how many people and websites have egg on their face? I guess this thing is sort of hard to predict but I wished we could have seen at least one! I hope the next one won't disappoint as this one did for I really need my beauty rest!! ;D P.S. - I live in southwest Florida, where the view was supposed to be the best for the show. Anyone see *anything* at all??

We live in northern

We live in northern California near San Francisco and had a clear dark sky but after 2 hours of looking we didn't see anything. I wonder if predawn would have been better.

Meteor experts around the

Meteor experts around the world are scratching their heads about this one. The Camelopardalid meteor shower was a bust, to put it mildly.
Even under ideal conditions, experienced meteor observers saw fewer than 10 Camelopardalid meteors. Measurements made using radar indicate that many Camelopardalid meteors were simply too faint to see with the unaided eye. They were up there but below the threshold of visibility. I personally saw only two Camelopardalids, although one of them was pretty spectacular -- a long, slow-moving meteor that brightened and dimmed a couple of times as it trailed across the sky.
It is disappointing for us when science makes predictions that are not borne out by reality. In astronomy, it's happened twice this year, first with Comet ISON and now with the Camelopardalid meteors.
These are examples of one of the most beautiful things about science. In the community of science, both successes and failures are always right out in the open for all to see. In pursuit of scientific knowledge, we often learn more from the failures than we learn from the successes. Astronomers accumulated a large amount of data concerning the Camelopardalid meteors and are already analyzing it and learning from it.
You can bet that the next time circumstances suggest a similar meteor shower may occur, astronomers will apply what they have learned from the Camelopardalid meteors. The knowledge gained in May 2014 will make future predictions more accurate.
Jeff DeTray
www.AstronomyBoy.com

SORT OF im relieved to see

SORT OF
im relieved to see your post , as i searched for others comments/videos/observations etc anything regarding the shower. We are located in S. Idaho , drove for several hours into the dark desert where viewing would have been perfect, we were there from 11:30pm-5am, i personally saw two, the funny thing is it was right when we were feuling up in the city lol surrounded by lights! and it was quite big semi slow moving but bright, we drove out immediatley very excited to see more, on the way out at about midnight there was one more small one. then for the entire night we didnt get anything except some gnarly neck cramps :-/. so thats the report from me from idaho, quite bummed about it but atleast i saw one good one. (but in the city!?LOL)hoping for a good sky show again soon! thanks for your post :) ive been very curious about other view points all weekend, has anyone else in Florida claimed to see any since youve posted?

I saw two in two hours of

I saw two in two hours of looking. I had my camera set up, but neither of them were in the picture area. Oh, well.

Is there supposed to be a

Is there supposed to be a meteor shower on May 24, 2014?

Yes, do a google search on

Yes, do a google search on "Camelopardalids" for more info. Depending on the timezone you are in, it will begin on the 23rd or 24th and last for a couple of hours.

Nice one tonight - E-W,

Nice one tonight - E-W, extinguished before edge of vision, possibly Lyrid? Very bright, roughly 1.25 seconds long appearance.

4-13-2014 after 5am EST just

4-13-2014 after 5am EST just saw a really bright one from inside my house with the lights on. This had to be seen by others. Brighter than a typical meteor shower.

April 6, 2014 Predawn meteor

April 6, 2014 Predawn meteor or other bright "falling star" in the eastern sky near Green Bay, WI approx 45 degrees above horizon. I was looking up at the exact time and what was cool is that the clouds were beginning to have that red glow from the sun coming up and the bright flash across just added to the spectacle. Talk about the sky "pouring forth speech."

I live in Weston- super-mare

I live in Weston- super-mare at approximately 02:15 witnessed a shooting star fire ball very big the largest i haveever seen. Between the plough and signus constellations can anyone verify this because i couldn't believe my eyes. OMG !!

I saw a very fast moving

I saw a very fast moving fireball in Edinburgh on the 20th March. It made a popping sound as it exploded and must have been less than 400m altitude.

It was moving from West to East.
I wonder if this foretells the Virginids being particularly spectacular this year ?

Saw a fireball / meteorite

Saw a fireball / meteorite while on Mauna Kea on 2/26/14. It went southwest away from Orion.

There's a really cool list of comets and meteor shower http://www.fallofathousandsuns...

It has a list of all meteor showers in chronological order, peak viewing dates, parent bodies, etc, and you can sort comets by all sorts of information (next perihelion, discovery, size, etc.)

2/16/14 11:50pm Venango PA

2/16/14 11:50pm Venango PA looking west a bright object caught mine and my fiance's eye maybe shooting star? it was very bright reddish orange and blueish white it had a very long tail of sparks trailing it.so cool looking .never seen one like this one and its the first one i ever saw in the winter time

I live in Langley, BC Canada

I live in Langley, BC Canada At 3:10 a.m. I saw a meteor and it was bright and colorful I was looking to the south sky.Amazing

2/17/1997 2:32 AM North

2/17/1997 2:32 AM North Edwards,Ca. I saw the same thing,but as it grew close,it came directly at me,somehow i knew it was not going to harm me,so it was useless to run anyway. By then it seemed to change shape and appeared to be a capsule shape dark object but the bottom still glowed as it cooled and hovered in the air about 100 feet above me ,I kid you not!!

This morning 27th of February

This morning 27th of February 2014 at around 06:36 , my location was in Steenderen, I spotted a bright meteor falling to the eastern side in three seconds before it's toally gone. Very amazing to see it longer and brighter than the meteors I have seen before in the past. First I thought it was a flare since it was so bright and lights longer in the air. Have anyone saw similar one today around that time. I wonder??

Saw shooting star falling

Saw shooting star falling steeply ESE from mid Bedfordshire at 6.16 pm

I just saw a meteor at 5:47

I just saw a meteor at 5:47 am 02/12/14 West Middlesex,Pa . It was going West to East right above the bottom two stars of Big Dipper.

I saw a shooting star with a

I saw a shooting star with a nice long duration going east to west over Arlington VA at about 9:15 pm on Feb 9, 2014.

On 1/29/14 somewhere between

On 1/29/14 somewhere between 9:15 and 9:30pm, my wife and I saw a really really close green shooting star. It came down right behind one of the apartment buildings behind ours and fell out of view. It was one of the closest ones I've ever seen. It had an orange tail. First one I've seen with a tail like that. It was the first time my wife's ever seen one. I would usually be alone when I saw one. It's nice to know that other people see them too, because every time I tell someone about one I've seen, no body ever knows what I'm talking about.

I JUST SAW GREEN ONE CAME IN

I JUST SAW GREEN ONE CAME IN VERY LOW ALL ALONE WAS THE BIGGEST I HAVE EVER SEEN

I think I saw the same one

I think I saw the same one you did. Was it between 10 & 11 PM CST last night?

It was the biggest falling star I have seen as well. Very bright and had a decent sized "tail" to it.

I think I saw the same one

I think I saw the same one you did. Was it between 10 & 11 PM CST last night?

It was the biggest falling star I have seen as well. Very bright and had a decent sized "tail" to it.

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