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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Yes I saw it. My sister and I

Yes I saw it. My sister and I were on her backlog deck in Vincent, Ohio. It was huge!!! Amazing!

We saw it here in kanawha

We saw it here in kanawha county wv too wonder what it was

Some friends and I were in

Some friends and I were in Reno, outside of Marietta, Ohio and saw it also. It was exactly as you described.

It was seen here in pike

It was seen here in pike County (southern ohio) too. Just awesome!

We saw it too!!!! We were

We saw it too!!!! We were looking at stars and around 11:30 or 11:40 pm all of a sudden the whole sky lit up. We didn't see the meteor or shooting star maybe we were just looking in the wrong direction (east) but we did see the unusual bright sky at night for about one second :) Impressive!!!!!

26sept13 @2228 saw shooting

26sept13 @2228 saw shooting star in lake city south carolina usa. was looking straight up and it shoot directly over me.

Just point of interest at

Just point of interest at 0330on 26th sept 2013
in Sussex UK I saw a huge bright moving light bigger than any i have ever seen travelling from east to west

Yeah! So did I, I was

Yeah! So did I, I was watching tv, and I have large windows in my living room, saw a large call of light and a streak behind it, (wonder if it hit my neighbor ^^)

I saw a meteor or comet

I saw a meteor or comet today. New York New Rochelle area at about 7:40... can this be confirmed?

I saw a couple in PA between

I saw a couple in PA between 5-5:30am. One around 5ish was very bright, the second at around 5:15ish was not as bright.

I saw perhaps the same

I saw perhaps the same shooting star at about 5:10 AM in CT. It was in the North East sky and was the brightest shooting star I had ever seen. The heavens were lit in spectacular fashion.

Noticed 6-7 shooting stars

Noticed 6-7 shooting stars over an hour starting at 3 am 9/10/13, n/nw from Bandon, OR. Didn't think it was a major shower, was checking site and saw others reporting similar.

At about 9 pm on September

At about 9 pm on September 8th we saw a lovely shooting star in the northeastern sky in Vancouver BC. The comet's tail had a multi-coloured halo. Any idea of which comet or meteor this is? It was much larger and slower than anything I've seen before, and "fell" for about 5 seconds.

No major meteor showers occur

The Editors's picture

No major meteor showers occur in September, but you probably saw a stray meteor/fireball, which can occur on any night. (On September 8, 2013, there were reports of fireballs in Oregon and California, USA.)

Meteors can burn with different colors, from orange-yellow, yellow, and red, to blue, green, or violet. This depends on the metals in the meteor, and which atoms/molecules in the atmosphere it hits.

A meteor's tail (called a train, or wake) can last about 1 to 10 seconds. Sometimes, a bright fireball can leave a persistent train that lasts a few minutes to over 30 minutes.

Factors that affect the speed of a meteor in the atmosphere include its size, its initial speed, and the angle when it hits the atmosphere.

For more information, you might be interested in these pages from the American Meteor Society:

http://www.amsmeteors.org/mete...

http://www.amsmeteors.org/fire...

Update 9/12/13:

The Editors's picture

Update 9/12/13: Spaceweather.com today mentions the "September epsilon Perseids" meteor shower, a minor shower that appears in September and peaks around Sept. 9; this year was especially prolific. Europe saw quite a show at midnight on Sept. 9 and 10; in North America, we couldn't see it because of daylight. However, stray fireballs had been seen for several days. It could be that the Sept 8 and 11 sightings in North America mentioned by readers were related to this minor shower.

For more information, you might go to Spaceweather.com, or to the American Meteor Society's page:

http://www.amsmeteors.org/2013...

when is the next shooting

when is the next shooting star

At about 2:20 a.m. (eastern

At about 2:20 a.m. (eastern time) on September 11, I saw a beautiful falling star - yellowish/goldish in appearance and it had a tail. I saw it in the northwestern sky. Very beautiful!

I also saw a shooting star at

I also saw a shooting star at about 8pm in Nigeria. It was such a beautiful sight

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.

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