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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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.

I'm not exactly sure what I

I'm not exactly sure what I saw in Cross Lanes, WV on 1/28 at approx 8pm E. Seemed way too big to be a shooting star. The next day I heard someone mention a video from security cameras. V100 in Charleston posted posted to their FB.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/V1...

Ive seen that too!! It was

Ive seen that too!! It was like size of basketball, it was lit up with beautiful blue/green color real bright then ad it touched road a few feet from our car it just got real small or ran out of light. Ibwas a bit scared but it was real nice go see

You are making this up. A

You are making this up. A basketball sized comet that his a few feet from your car would have killed you. Nice try.

Evening of 1/25/2014 I've

Evening of 1/25/2014
I've seen (during an hour period), 4 brilliant, red, "fast-movers" that appear to rise from the East-Southeastern horizon, and shoot upward and to the North, from just West of Indianapolis, but am unaware of any "scheduled" meteor showers radiating from this direction/azimuth.
Anyone interested, please check these out, as they're truly beautiful displays, and are "large enough" to earn "fireball" status.

I live in Bloomington,In. It

I live in Bloomington,In. It was so cloudy here couldn't see a thing. I was mildly diisapointed; I was looking forward to it: BUMMER!

Jan 24 2014 I live in wichita

Jan 24 2014 I live in wichita ks I saw a green metorite with a flame trailing it I saw it about 7pm south west of me

Jan. 24, 2014 - I live in El

Jan. 24, 2014 - I live in El Reno, Oklahoma and saw the same thing, same time, same location in the sky..

I saw one just like this in

I saw one just like this in TN about 7:15 this evening

Saw the same green comet

Saw the same green comet around 6pm over Seattle. Fell very low!

On Sept 11th a close friend

On Sept 11th a close friend of mine saw. a meteorite touch down near boulder Colorado and latter retrieved a few pieces near a creek it was also the night the horrible flood started we are trying. to get it analyzed what advice is there in this matter

Hi I think I might of seen a

Hi I think I might of seen a shooting star or something On the 19th or 20th of December it was I bright bluey purple and shot across the sky and disappeared quickly but I just wanted to know how likely it is I seen one tho I know they happen all the time.

I live in Sacramento, CA I

I live in Sacramento, CA I was facing west/northwest and saw a falling star that traveled from the north to the south west at about 9:10-9:15 PST. It traversed across the sky looking larger than normal and stayed bright until I lost it behind the neighbors house.
Did anyone else witness this?

The Geminids were kind of a

The Geminids were kind of a bust here in the beautiful state of Jefferson. The weather was clear, but The almost full moon was out most of the night. I even went outside pre dawn on Sat. And Sun., after the moon had set, and only saw a couple. Hope for a better show next time around.

What about western Canada?

What about western Canada? When is the best time to view? I'm in BC...

Got to see some meteors last

Got to see some meteors last night! stood out around 2 am in the morning new york city time. didn't see much for at least a half an hour. I was surrounded by tall buildings and lights, so I went to a less lit area in someones backyard, in the dark, a couple of blocks away. then I watched my show! Dozens of hair strand like meteors were filling the sky. minutes in between them. Those weren't as fun as the one I saw a little later. There was a good pause, THEN A LONG ORANGE METEOR CROSSED THE SKY FOR ABOUT 6 SECONDS! It was a bit slower then the white and rapid ones I was seeing, but this one was a whopper! It basically went in the opposite direction of all the other meteors were going in. IT WAS A GREAT TREAT!

I live in Titusville Florida

I live in Titusville Florida and was wondering if we here at the space center will be able to see the DEC 13 and 14 metero shower from here and about what time ?

New Smyrna Florida since 1am

New Smyrna Florida since 1am seen 64 meteors over the eastern sky its now 2am.

I think I just saw a comet.

I think I just saw a comet. it was bright green with a huge tail behind it and then it just fizzled out of no where... so cool first time ever that I saw anything like that

why are some meteor showers

why are some meteor showers only visible during pre-dawn or late night, instead of all night long? i'm sure they dont "wait" for a specific time to enter our atmosphere.

Hi, State-of-Jefferson, good

Hi, State-of-Jefferson, good question! We asked our astronomer your question for more clarity. Please see revised explanation in article above. Best, the OFA editors

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA. 5:14PM. I SAW A GIANT GREEN LIGHT WITH BLUE OUTLINE WITH A TAIL FALLING DOWN FROM THE SKY. I KNEW IT WASN'T A SHOOTING STAR. I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT SOMETHING WAS GOING TO BLOW UP.

Meteor actually started

Meteor actually started around 4:30pm seen from superior, wi area. Check out northland news if you want to see pictures. Should be verified by tonight sometime.

What else did you see?

What else did you see?

Are you asking what I saw?

Are you asking what I saw? Google rare meteor picture 2013 or this meteor sight page has 8 pictures that they posted. http://www.amsmeteors.org/photos/

Seen shooting star over

Seen shooting star over asheville 20:42 relativly slow and low headed west north west.

Halloween 2013 sitting on

Halloween 2013 sitting on deck at Canyon Lake Texas with my sis & husband around 10:30 - midnight we saw 3 shooting stars. Then after midnight I observed three more. All were fast. Two of them were more horizontal than the others. Fantastic. Milky Way was present, and could see the Seven Sisters and Orion. Very interesting site & replies. Thank you for your information.
While in Florence SC late Feb 2008, we observed I guess a metor hit a field that was bright fiery, then had a blue color. I will know keep up with days and hope to see many more.

I saw 2 nice shooting stars

I saw 2 nice shooting stars with tails in Sevierville,tn last nite. the best 1 I ever saw was in west ft Lauderdale. it sounded like someone welding, lit up the whole area as bright as a welder does. left a glowing green gas cloud that lasted 15 or so minutes. very awesome to see!

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