Meteor Shower Calendar 2021: When Is the Next Meteor Shower?

Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

By Bob Berman
June 30, 2021
Meteor Shower

Get ready for summer’s shooting stars! 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. 9–10 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.

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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The Quick White ball

Approximately at 10:11, in Oxon Hill, MD I saw a fast white ball race through the sky when I was looking at the sky. I made a wish.

Oct 8,2018

We saw a large triangular meteor falling last night in northern Arizona from I-40 headed West toward Flagstaff at 945 pm. It lasted more than 45 seconds. It was moving slowly enough that we had time to decide it was a meteor with a huge tail and still had time to enjoy it as it came down and then slowly went out.

Oct 4

I saw a orangish colored one about the size of a baseball pass by,it was beautiful very bright at first and as it passed it died out, never seen one quite like that,and to mention the first time I ever seen one was about 3yrs ago for the first time and I'm 36 yrs old.crazy huh

Time

It was around 845-9pm

Shooting Star

My son and I saw a very bright and one of the largest shooting stars I have personally ever seen on our way home this evening. The time was approximately 1920 hours.

Forgot

Forgot to post that it was in the northern Clarksville TN area. Originally thought it was falling debris or plane due to how large and bright it was but it fizzled out just as quickly as we saw it.

Bright greenish-blue streak over SC 9/23/18

My son and I saw a bright greenish-blue streak through the sky around 12:30 or 1am. We saw the streak, then what I thought was the ending, looked like it exploded, then streaked again. _____+_____. AWESOME. REALLY BRIGHT.

Shooting star

Saw large, clear shooting star north to south 9:15pm on 9/15/18 Bradenton,Fl north of SR 70, Weat of I-75

HUGE falling star?

Saw THE BIGGEST falling star I've ever seen in my life! Around 9:00 PM in Salem Oregon. It was so big I thought it was a plane on fire, but it fizzled out quickly.

White Ball of Light

Last night around 10:00-10:45 I seen around ball of white light fall over the house it was so bright it hurt my eyes, it fell fast but flashed white and then yellow and was gone. I really don't know what I witnessed but it was amazing,NovaScotia

We saw the same, under

We saw the same, under Southern NJ sky. A huge white, bright light, huge flash, then just gone!
Mrs. Joy Carter
Bridgeton, NJ.

DATE***

Sorry, the date we saw the big ball flash out, was September 25, 2018.
Joy Carter.
Bridgeton NJ

My post

I’m trying to find my post so I can write the date on my calendar.. where is it? Do u have the post documentation, at least?

Meteorite?

Santa Rosa Beach, FL around 11 PM on the 6th A round orange colored ball passed trough the trees as it was coming down. It was about the size of a basketball. Anyone else see it? Was that a meteorite?

what does a meteorite look like?

Catherine Boeckmann's picture

It could be. Meteorites flying through the atmosphere get red-hot because of the friction. They look like a blazing fireball. By the time they land, they’re just 90% of their original size so it cools down and looks like a rock.

Just like Aug 3 2018! So big so BRIGHT!

Around 10pm in Houston Texas , I was outside with my pup Fern and this huge & extremely bright ...I’m assuming meteorite , it came from the south traveling north until it faded out ...it was so bright & seemed to have colors of blue green & yellow with a white tail ...

Dude I saw that same one from

Dude I saw that same one from San Antonio. It was soooooo big! Unlike any thing I've ever seen

big fat meteor 1030pm

happened to catch tail end of it - I watch perseids every year but this thing was very wide compared to the meteors I've seen
30% off south horizon 1030pm est from peterborough ont canada
space junk?
too early to be a delta aquarid?

Meteorite sighting

Monday 25th June around 04.56am UK I was standing at my back door looking up at the sky and seen five meteorites this was amazing as I've never seen anything like it before

Meteorite sighting

Hi I saw what looked like a meterorite in the sky August 1st around 9.40 pm
I was outside looking up at the sky to see a flame crossing the sky then it disappeared.
Could you please confirm this sighting. Has anyone else reported this sighting
Many thanks

Aug 3 2018 london. Bright orb and tail

I saw this too. Seemed massive compared to a shooting star. Slower but fast and so close. Lasted longer than a shooting star. Bright whit ball of light. Size of a basket ball. Beautiful.

Huge falling star

Tonight at around 8.20pm in northern Tasmania, looking South east I saw a large, greenish falling star over the Tamar River. Did anyone else spot it?

Falling star or Comet

About 10:00 pm in WV I see what looked like a comet or Astroid was a huge object that was lit up for about 3 Seconds never seen anything like this

Falling Star

My friend and i also saw the "Falling star" between 9 and 10 oclock on 6/18/18 in Maryland. It lasted several seconds , long enough for my friend to point at it and say ," what the hell is that ! " LOl it appeared close to the earth traveling west to east . It looked yellow , golden , to me , beautiful:) very bright , wide and detailed.

Huge falling star?

In Hayward, CA at around 9pm PDT; Viewed a rather large flying object from the South sky to the SW sky at an altitude of about 25 deg. with a straight slightly downward trajectory. It was bright green, had a fairly short tail. It looked like a flare or firework, but it traveled in a straight line, no arc to it.

Huge falling star?

Shawn, I saw something similar tonight 6/18/18 around 8:45 - 9:00 PM in the southwest sky over Woodside. It was huge, pale green, with very little if any tail. It appeared to be at a low altitude, closer to Earth than any meteor I've ever seen, and it traveled slowly. I saw it for a good 3 - 4 seconds before it dropped behind the hill. It was quite beautiful.

The biggest I’ve ever seen!

About 20 mins ago 1:30 AM south central PA. I would guess a meteor but, it was really wide and very bright. Could it have been a hunk of space junk?! I’m no expert but love star watching. It flew by Cassiopeia.

Meteor

Jamil: Don't know if what you were expecting was around Az. but at 9:42 p.m. I saw one of the larger meteor's that I have seen in N.M. traveling over your ranch from NE to SW this was quite large and broke up into many pieces very nice. it traveled from central west N.M. to around Flagstaff direction. I see a lot of things in the sky out here, this was memorable... P.S. the other places that I saw many thing in the night was Fiji where I was born and raised then to Hawai'i and then Kenya & Tanzania, now landlocked in N.M. Hoz

The biggest star star I've ever seen

My husband and I are sailing from Fiji to a french polynesian island called Wallis and Futuna and about 9pm 11 june 2018 we both saw a huge fire ball ,falling-star/meteoroid? All i can say is...WOW! It was incredible.

Do you have photos for the event seen

Dear Liana, I hope you are great.
I wonder of you have any photos or film documented what you have seen
Could you please describe what you have seen exactly, I am expecting a big event in 11th of June, This may be the event.
Please send me on my enclosed email
my regards and best wishes
Jamil

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