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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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.

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!

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