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
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.”


Reader Comments

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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

The Editors's picture

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



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.

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!

11-13-13. About 4:55am.

11-13-13. About 4:55am. saw huge white meteor size of car tire shoot towards earth downward angle... had a white tail visible for about 3 sec.. lost sight in tree line.... Seymour ,ct

I saw a shooting star in this

I saw a shooting star in this morning at 11:00pm in Ethiopia

Yes , in sep 30, 1013 morning

Yes , in sep 30, 1013 morning I saw a shooting star in Addis Ababa Ethiopia

I saw a shooting star/meteor

I saw a shooting star/meteor at around 8:45 pm, September broke into 5 pieces and one piece started going sideways. Did anyone else see it? We're in southern was the most amazing thing!

So sorry i missed the action

So sorry i missed the action sept 28!
We just saw a much smaller one in Terence Bay NS Can at 01:31 and it was quite unexpected.

I saw one too in Woodbridge,

I saw one too in Woodbridge, VA at around 1:28am, 18 Oct 2013. It was an amazing sight! Thought it was a shooting star at first, but it was huge and moving fast. Saw the tail wind and all!

Hi, Cinnamon Carriaga, I just

Hi, Cinnamon Carriaga,
I just moved from Woodbridge, VA, about 2 months ago to Nevada where I saw one last night outside of Lake Tahoe. So cool.

Thanks for sharing. I

Thanks for sharing. I haven't been to Lake Tahoe yet. It's on my list of places to go. I heard it's beautiful. Looking forward to seeing it for myself soon :)

Saturday, Oct 19, 2013 we

Saturday, Oct 19, 2013 we were around a bonfire. I was sitting facing south, both my neighbor and I stood up and yelled as a huge shooting star or a meteor zipped thru the sky; it was moving very fast towards downtown Atlanta.
I am surprised no one else reported seeing it. That very was exciting!!

Saw a very large meteor from

Saw a very large meteor from Athens Ohio early this morning, around 2AM, Sept 28, 2013. It was stunning! First time I have ever walked out with the purpose of watching for one and immediately seeing something so huge! It was directly overhead. I also saw a few small ones early evening on the 26th.

Yes! Near midnight on Sept.

The Editors's picture

Yes! Near midnight on Sept. 27-28, NASA cameras recorded a brilliant fireball, which analysts believe was a meter-class space rock exploding almost directly above Columbus, Ohio. Images and more information about this event may be found on:

At about 11:40 pm in

At about 11:40 pm in Parkersburg ,WV. I saw something I guess a shooting star. Can anyone confirm this ?? It was bright had a tail ( I guess a tail the brightness left a trail at least) also it had color a green tinge to it.