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

Leave a Comment

I saw a Beautiful large

I saw a Beautiful large shooting 'star' 3:20 AM this morning August 28, 2013. It was a 'burning ball' with orange, yellow and a lot of green & a tail. It seemed to take a long time to travel from my left to right (SW to NE). It looked to be right over the fields of Jefferson & Burke Counties in Georgia, U.S.A. God IS AWESOME!

Just saw a bright green

Just saw a bright green shooting star go from SW to NE over Missoula, MT. About 3:15 am.

I just saw the same one here

I just saw the same one here in Wyoming, very big and very green. Never seen one like it before. So glad I stepped out when I did.

Ocean City, NJ ----> I saw a

Ocean City, NJ ----> I saw a comet around 3:30ish am today, Thursday the 15th. Totally rad!

Too cloudy....help. can I see

Too cloudy....help. can I see tbem still with intermittent clouds?

Just saw one 13 August 01:35.

Just saw one 13 August 01:35.

London, United Kingdom 1.30am

London, United Kingdom 1.30am 13/8/13

I just saw two about five minutes apart. Visibility is good even with street lights. Enjoy this wonderful spectacle. A blessed and luminous night to everyone across the world.

Last night around 12am I saw

Last night around 12am I saw like 3 shooting stars in the southwest!

Just saw a shooting star over

Just saw a shooting star over tramore co Waterford Ireland was fab first time ever seeing it

Just saw a shooting star

Just saw a shooting star lasted about a second in north eastern sky i live in south western pennsylvania anyone know what comet/meteor it was.

Not all meterors(falling

Not all meterors(falling stars) come from comets! Most are just space debris ( not necessarily man-made debris).

I just witnessed a gorgeous

I just witnessed a gorgeous shooting star or meteor today June 21 '13 over arlington tx... it lasted about 5 seconds, was a blue color with a deteriorating tail, a medium size in the north sky.

I believe we saw the same

I believe we saw the same meteor. June 21st, maybe 9pm, in the north sky. We are just outside of Austin, Tx about three hours from Arlington. Beautiful!

Just wanted to comment on the

Just wanted to comment on the meteor on June 21st... I drive a truck during the night and see many shooting stars, but have never seen such a beautiful and brilliant meteor as on that night. The meteor was blue at the nose with a red tail... I'm in the Carolina's but I believe this was the same....

One large meteorite and two

One large meteorite and two smaller seen over a 15 min period at approximately 1900-1930 tonight in central western Sumatra indonesia. What a good site!

Are there going to be any

Are there going to be any meteor showers in the next couple of months in Virginia?

Troy, Please see the chart on

Troy, Please see the chart on this page; it applies to all of North America.

At 250 AM central time this

At 250 AM central time this morning (June 2nd.)I thought I saw a falling star or falling meteor in the extreme eastern sky????
What did I see? Michael

Hi I was driving down

Hi I was driving down VanHouten Ave right off of Highway 46 in NJ at about 3:45am I noticed what I thought at first an airplane but I notice as it was really bright and as it sped across the sky it diminished. Not sure if it was a shooting star or what but all I know its got to be one of the most spectacular things I've ever seen. Wish my daughter could have seen it or had time to take a picture it just all happened so quickly. It amazes me of how amazing and cast this universe is. So much beauty <3

hi I live in Auckland new

hi I live in Auckland new Zealand and im very excited about the meteor shower tonight, I was wondering if could see it naked eye in my back yard?

When can we see a meteor

When can we see a meteor shower in Vancouver, Bc?

Is the Shower visible in San

Is the Shower visible in San Antonio? I live near Rudder and I want to see it, also, 'predawn'... this means around 3:30 or so? Thanks!

Um..only if the Sun comes up

Um..only if the Sun comes up at 4am where you are..lol Predawn means- shortly before dawn

Hello I was wondering if

Hello I was wondering if there is a meteor shower visible in South Carolina supposed to happen tonight April 22,2013 me and my children are wanting to see this? Thanks for your time!!

I WNTED TO KNOW THAT IT COULD

I WNTED TO KNOW THAT IT COULD BE IN INDIA ALSO . I AM VERY EXCITED FOR MAYO COME

can someone tell me if they

can someone tell me if they can be seen in southern hemisphere too? in Chile?
thx!

Ok so my family and I just

Ok so my family and I just moved to Florida the beginning of April and we were made aware that there will be a meteor shower on the 22nd. My sons birthday is the 23rd so we are looking forward to his early candles so to speak. It says predawn hours. Meaning 5 or 6 a.m.? Just looking for an almost exact time. We do not want to miss this event. Thanks for reading.

"Predawn" means an hour or so

"Predawn" means an hour or so before morning twilight. You can find your local twilight times in The 2013 Old Farmer's Almanac or here at our sunrise/sunset tool:
http://www.almanac.com/astrono...

My son and I saw a what I

My son and I saw a what I think was a meteor. It was coming down towards the ground and looked like it had a flame. If you have ever burned paper outside in a fire and some of it floats above the fire as it is still burning...that's what it looked like and then just burned out. Was that a meteor?

Was just wondering if people

Was just wondering if people from the Midlands, England would be able to see the meteor showers?

Pages