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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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

The Editors's picture

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

The Editors's picture

"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?

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

The Editors's picture

"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 Editors's picture

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?

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