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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So on April 22nd we wake up

So on April 22nd we wake up early that morning, before sunrise to see the meteor shower or we stay up late on the 22nd, wait until it's early on the 23rd and then see the shower?

"Predawn" means an hour or so

"Predawn" means an hour or so before morning twilight.

On the night before that

On the night before that meteor hit. Russia me and a few friends came walking out of our house and all of asudden this big bright white light was like right. On top of us it sounded like a plane very loud plane then we looked up and there was about 30 big round redish. Looking fire balls thay were heading east across the sky by the time we made it 7 blocks away. There were only 4 or5 left thay. Just seemed to slowly. Move out of our veiw never heard a word about it the next day just wondering if it could have been part of the one that hit russia thanks oh ya spokane wa is where we live

Thanks for your prompt reply!

Thanks for your prompt reply!

Question: I'm writing a story

Question: I'm writing a story set in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state in June 21 of 2012. I would sure like my characters to see shooting stars ... would that have been possible?

The major meteor showers have

The major meteor showers have similar timing every year across the Northern Hemisphere--so you can reference the chart above. It would be best to set the scene in August as the Perseids are a major shower that people most always see. Of course, you may also want to check the Weather History that night (was it a clear night without clouds?) and the Moon Phase Calendar (as you want a dark night and a full Moon can drown out shooting stars)!

Is there a meteor to be seen

Is there a meteor to be seen over Ireland tonight 8th march?

Which meteor shower would I

Which meteor shower would I be able to see in California?

Hi my name is yahaira and I

Hi my name is yahaira and I was wondering coud there be any shooting stars inSan Diego if there could be where would be the best place to see one and could your wish come true. Thank you for your time. If your wish does come true first how do you make your wish happen and can you send to my email that countries falling stars pass by and where would be the BEST place to see them.

Yes, you can see these meteor

The Editors's picture

Yes, you can see these meteor showers from ANYWHERE in North America, provided it's clear and dark, away from all the city lights.

The first huge meteor 8've

The first huge meteor 8've ever I ever saw was in december 2012. In the daylight at 4:45pm centeral time it reminded me of the nasa's challenger explossion as it streaked across the sky. It was ascary site to see! It looked just like what hiit russia yesterday and i had hoped someone had it on vedio.!

i think i just saw a shooting

i think i just saw a shooting star! im npt sure it was bright whites seemed to habe a pink ora around it and a long tail! did i c 1?

jan 24, 2013 6:05pm. I live

jan 24, 2013 6:05pm. I live in gun barrel city, texas and I just observed a comet or meteor lasting several minutes before I lost sight of it. It was bright orange to deep red (almost purple) and had a very large tail that by sight was about 2 hands wide if holding them up to sky (I dont really know how big that would be. Simply amazing.

Approximately 4:30 this

Approximately 4:30 this Morning of Jan 23, 2013, My husband witnessed a red fire ball streak south to north over Defuniaksprings, FL. He beleived to be a meteorite.

I just seen a falling meteor.

I just seen a falling meteor. It was bluish with a mix of green. My friends and I have been seeing them for the past week. They are so awesome!

Which of the meteors on the

Which of the meteors on the chart will be visible from SE Pennsylvania?

You can see the meteor

You can see the meteor showers on the chart from ANYWHERE in the sky in North America.

I live in lake jackson tx a

I live in lake jackson tx a hr away from houston the sky is has heavy rain clouds will I be able to see them if so what time

Stargirl, You need a clear

Stargirl, You need a clear night without rain to see the meteor showers. Look at the schedule above and hope for good weather!

I would like to know were can

I would like to know were can we fine a shooting star in Lancaster PA

Yesenia, Look at the chart on

The Editors's picture

Yesenia, Look at the chart on this page for the schedule. As mentioned above, you can see the meteor showers mentioned in this chart anywhere in North America -- as long as the night is clear and dark (away from city lights).

12-21-12 what were the

12-21-12 what were the lighting sort of lights 2am to 5am there was a big snow storm going on it would light things up for 5 seconds or so this was in Northern california (shasta County)

I just saw a bunch

I just saw a bunch

I missed last nights shower

I missed last nights shower and I was wondering if the dates were 13-14 because it occurred after midnight or if I could be so lucky to see it again tonight?

HI! I'd like to know if there

HI! I'd like to know if there will be any meteor shower tonight here in Canada? It's happened in the Philippines last night, Philippine time, and I was wondering if we'd be able to see it here too?

germanid is due december

germanid is due december 13-14 best seen in the NE but will it be seeable in Santa Fe, TX?

Yes, the Geminid meteors

The Editors's picture

Yes, the Geminid meteors peaks on Dec. 13-14 anywhere in North America (the area which the Almanac covers).

Do you think I'd see these

Do you think I'd see these somewhere near the Kangamangus Highway or at the peak?

Hi, i am from Saudi Arabia,

Hi,

i am from Saudi Arabia, my daughter loves stars, can you please advise that, will we be able to see these in saudi arabia and if yes, what will be the suitable date time for that

Thanks
Ali

Hello, Ali, You may find this

The Editors's picture

Hello, Ali, You may find this Web site useful as it shows viewing information from all over the world: http://www.spacedex.com/
I hope this helps, the OFA

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