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

Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

By Bob Berman
November 15, 2020
Meteor Shower

When is the next meteor shower? Our Meteor Shower Calendar for 2020 has dates for all the principal meteor showers—plus viewing tips from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Catch a shooting star!

2020 Meteor Showers Calendar

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. 7–9 6 Giacobini-Zinner
Orionid Predawn S Oct. 21–22 15 Halley
Taurid Late evening S Nov. 9 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. 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 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? 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). (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 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.”

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Reader Comments

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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

The Editors's picture

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?

At 1130ish pm on July 22,2014

At 1130ish pm on July 22,2014 seen the same thing and i was very startled by it as well.

I also saw this. I live in

I also saw this. I live in Santa Clarita, Ca. It looked bluish in color and came straight down. You could see large partials breaking off, leaving a trail. It was very large.

I saw a "falling star" Friday

I saw a "falling star" Friday night about 10:15 pm on the 65 to Roseville. As it was falling I saw the fire slowly going out and under was a rock like ball similar to charcoal. Wasn't on the news. I have been searching the web all over to see if anyone else saw it or if it was reported to the news but do far nothing. Did anyone see this that night? And have u heard anything about where it landed? It was pretty big so I'm guessing at least part of it landed somewhere...right?

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

The Editors's picture

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

The Editors's picture

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?

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