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.”

2022_moon_calendar_spring_ad_1.png

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

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

The Editors's picture

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

The Editors's picture

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

The other night during the

The other night during the orionid shower me and my fiance was outside and i saw three meteotites within 5 minutes.. 2 small faint ones and one big bright one in the same direction east. My fiance didnt get to see them. Everytime i saw them he was looking the wrong direction.. we both love the sky and have seen showers before. But each and every shower is amazing.. we live in butler pa but the best meteorite showers i have ever seen was in west virginia where i was born and raised!! So beautiful!! I love the sky stars moon etc.. its so amazing and full of wonder!! Happy hunting everyone!! :)

Hello. Do you know when the

Hello. Do you know when the next meteor shower that can be seen clearly in Connecticut, please?

No matter what you live, you

The Editors's picture

No matter what you live, you can see these meteor showers. The Orionid meteor shower peaks Sunday, October 21. The best time to look is the dark hours before sunrise on Sunday.

i saw a very bright flying

i saw a very bright flying object in july it was so bright and flyinn gall the way across the sky limit i was kind of amazed. i thought it couldnt have been a satelite since there must be rules for satalites not to be that bright. it flew pretty fast almost all across the sky. i wasnt prepared for it and am glad i got to see it. it was very stunning or amazing and i gave it all my attention i was like; WOW!!

i live in the netherlands...

i live in the netherlands... it was and july or begin august.

My son is 5, and got to see

My son is 5, and got to see the Perseids meteor shower! He loved it! In April of 1997 I saw the HaileBop comet! It looked loke a giant dimond with dimond dust trailing it! That was the most ENCHANTING creation I had ever seen in my life!!!!

Is there any chance that

Is there any chance that Perseid will continue the night of 8/12 into the morning of 8/13? and be visible in Florida?

Yes, the Perseids will

The Editors's picture

Yes, the Perseids will continue until late August — but the show peaked from late on the 11th through the early hours of the 12th.

Hi I live in Houston TX and

Hi I live in Houston TX and when is the best time exactly to see the perseid meteor shower?

The best time to observe the

The Editors's picture

The best time to observe the Perseids is between midnight and sunrise; that's when the Earth will be colliding head-on with the meteor stream.

What time would be best to

What time would be best to watch the meteor shower in southern Califorina?

The best time to observe the

The Editors's picture

The best time to observe the Perseids is between midnight and sunrise; that's when the Earth will be colliding head-on with the meteor stream.

Pages