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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I saw something very close to

I saw something very close to what Anissa describes. From here in Kansas City, Mo. on Sept. 20th 2014 at 7:27 p.m. looking north west kinda low in the sky just before sunset. Looked exactly like a comet with a tail only it was huge and I'm not aware of any visible to the naked eye comets or anything else the would have been in the sky at this time. I was able to get a couple pictures and even a short video. It was big enough to clearly make out even though I used the camera on my cellphone.

My husband saw it at that

My husband saw it at that time in eastern NC. It was to the southwest very bright and went straight down. He lost sight of it at the tree line. And waited to hear an explosion but didn't hear anything.

I just saw one at about 8:30

I just saw one at about 8:30 pm in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Just saw an extremely bright

Just saw an extremely bright white light (with a tail) shooting low across the sky then it "broke up" and disappeared. Sunshine Coast, BC. September 13, 2014 around 8:40 pm.

I saw that too. I'm downtown

I saw that too. I'm downtown Vancouver, BC and it looked huge! It was so bright and blazed across the sky for a few seconds at around 830 pm tonight. I thought it might hit something! So beautiful though

We saw it in the sky over

We saw it in the sky over Ganges, Salt Spring Island heading west, very low in the sky, looked like it was heading down, past our treeline. White ball with a firey tail, beautiful, too fast for a picture.

We saw it in the sky over

We saw it in the sky over Ganges, Salt Spring Island around 8:30 p.m. last night,heading west, very low in the sky, looked like it was heading down, past our treeline. White ball with a firey tail, beautiful, too fast for a picture.

I have seen shooting stars a

I have seen shooting stars a lot, I live in nigeria (africa), I don't know why people don't want to believe,i have seen a single star move on it own without burning like a shooting star,nobody believed me.pls I need to be believed

From USA- New York state -

From USA- New York state - NOT THE CITY-- I saw a very large meteor or star shoot across the sky. I have seen many falling stars, even have sat out in the yard with my children when they were young and home to watch meteor showers. This one was UNLIKE anyone I have ever viewed. It was HUGE and beautiful and it traveled vertical with a long tail behind it.....
do not know if something similar was seen from the person in Africa as I do not know your long. and lat. from me and time zone--highly doubt it but not sure.

My first ever meteor seen

My first ever meteor seen tonight at about 20.45. Massive and not that high up,across Staffordshire England. Still in shock mode.

Hi I have a very nice

Hi I have a very nice telescope that I bought for myself afteR I saved my money after starting my new job late last year but I have seen stars move too :).

I believe you hun, I've seen

I believe you hun, I've seen them also, thought I was crazy now know I'm not TY.

Just saw an awesome meteorite

Just saw an awesome meteorite on a very slow burn going South to North over Colorado zip code 80820 directly overhead heading toward Denver - I've never seen such a slow burning falling star!

My husband thinks he saw one

My husband thinks he saw one a little while ago...we are in Maine. We're going back out to see if there are more. :)

We saw one about one hour ago

We saw one about one hour ago out in moab Utah!it was awsome

I saw that too, just west of

I saw that too, just west of Chicago. What an amazing sight!

Saw it too from Ottawa,

Saw it too from Ottawa, Ontario. Amazing!

We saw one too. Described

We saw one too. Described exactly as you said. It was approx. 7:45 EST.

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.

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