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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Fireball falling in Westerly sky 08 Nov 2018 7:45 PM

Viewing westerly Sky looking from North Monroeville towards Bellevue , Ohio. l seen a fireball falling from the sky. I have seen shooting stars before but this was much larger. Very beautiful.

Meteor/shooting star

I live about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. I seen the meteor about 11:30 times pm . Bright white with blue on the outside ring. Only lasted 2 seconds. Was this about the time you seen It?

Meteor landed within 1 mile from me

I live in Sykesville pa and just saw a large meteor fall right in front of me. I've seen 3 in the past 4 years but this is the first one I've actually heard flying through the air. It appeared to be as big as a box truck, bright white light and sizzling like a hot dog cooking over a fire. I did not get to see where it exactly landed but it was very close and I am glad it didn't land on my house or car!

Meteor landed within 1 mile from me

( If ) It Was as BIG as You Say AND Landed...It Would of Created a Fore-Shock Wave And a 5M EQ and Felt a 100 Miles Away and Probably Heard and Seen for Hundreds And Make a Crater the Size of the Super Bowl With Debris Faying and Falling EVERY WHERE And it Would of Made National News !!! Remember the One in Russia...It Was Suggested to Be the Size of a Basket Ball...just sayin
Most All Meteors Are Only a Grain of Salt...but...Going 100 MPS...What You Probably Saw a Size of a Baseball ( a Fire Ball ) and The Colors Are the Minerals Burning Up and The Sound is the Air Burning and Expanding Like Lighting Does !!!

Meteorite/Falling star

Justin,
I saw the same in Wauseon approximately 7:45 p.m. looking in the west while driving. It took me off guard as a large light came down from the sky which appeared to have a greenish color around it. It was beautiful, even though it startled me.

Meteorite/Falling star

Justin,
I saw the same in Wauseon approximately 7:45 p.m. looking in the west while driving. It took me off guard as a large light came down from the sky which appeared to have a greenish color around it. It was beautiful, even though it startled me.

In October of 2014 shower, anyone else seen?

More a question... I saw in October of 2014 a shooting star.. or ?... That appeared to make a corkscrew type desent into the amospheare leaving behind it a corkscrew trail. Has anyone else ever seen anything like that? Or is there possibly another explanation for it? Michael S..

Shooting stars!

It's 8:05 cst n in the southern sky here in south Louisiana I saw two shooting stars in the last 15 mins!

Shooting Star

I was coming to work this morning in Hayward CA. As I turned to go into the yard, I saw a shooting start straight ahead of me. It was the first one I have ever seen and it was beautiful!

Shooting Stars

About 4.30 this morning Alfie (our dog) needed to go out so took him into the garden (West Wales) and was lucky enough to see two shooting stars within a couple of minutes. It is very dark where we live and the sky was so full of stars - just wonderful.

Meteor Shower

The Draconid shower is in full force tonight, mostly clear dark skies tonight on the very southern end of Dauphin Island, Al. We ave enjoyed at least 15-20 one very bright with tail, starting at 9:00 ish until about 10:30. Pre tropical storm weather has created windy conditions and thin clouds. Amazing sky tonight

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

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