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

Meteor Shower Dates and Viewing Tips

By Bob Berman
December 31, 2020
Meteor Shower

When is the next meteor shower? Our Meteor Shower Calendar for 2021 has dates for all the principal meteor showers—plus viewing tips from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Catch a shooting star!

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. 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.

Stay tuned as we add more meteor showers to the list!

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

Leave a Comment

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

No photo's

Hi Jamil, Sorry, I don't have any photos, just some awesome memories.
About 9pm MY husband are I were both out in the cockpit looking out for the last of the local fishing boats still out trolling/fishing at that time of night. ?We saw this huge flash in the sky… brighter and longer than a flash of lightning, and the biggest fireball. It made me feel very small and insignificant. Mother-nature, wow! I wonder if anyone in the world caught it on camera?

Green "falling star"

Saw green "falling star" in San Antonio Texas about 15 minutes ago driving down Culebra Rd.

Just saw 2 within 30min in Thornton co.

It is 10:00 p.m. in Colorado. Bolth meteoroids went across 1/4 of my view. Lasted a good 1 1/2 seconds. They were bright white with a tan color. What also was cool they were so bright you could see the smoke trail behind them. This was on 6/4/2018.

just saw a shooting star bne time at 6.45 pm

just saw a shooting star bne time at 6.45 pm
has anyone else saw it?

Astrology

Saw jupiter 5 days back at 8pm in India. Sky was clear and only one star was visible and bright i was pretty sure its a planet. To confirm my findings I googled and came to know it was jupiter

Jupiter sighting

Jupiter is indeed very big and bright at the moment. It is, once more, one of brightest star-like objects in the sky; it comes and goes in cycles (of around 5 years, I seem to recall). During each cycle, Jupiter gets progressively closer and brighter for a couple of years until it can be seen and identified easily even through city lights. Right now (just before dawn in the UK) it's visible in the skies almost due west, and it 'shines' in a distinctive orangey- brick colour.
Around dawn and dusk wherever you are on the Earth, Venus may also appear in the skies- always in roughly the direction of the rising\setting sun. When Venus is visible, it will be by far the brightest star-like thing in the sky. Even when Jupiter is it it's closest and brightest, Venus will outshine it by far. Venus will only be visible for an hour or so in the morning (Look East), then for an hour or so in the evening (look West). Venus' light is so much whiter and brighter than anything else, that once you've seen it, it'll be unmistakable in the future.
About a week ago, the moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars all appeared close together in the sky, all easily visible with the naked eye. When Venus appeared over the horizon, twinkling intensely as it does, for a brief while I could clearly see 5 of the planets in our Solar system, as if lined up together in the sky, next to the roughly 3\4 moon. One by one they 'disappeared' from sight as the sun rose, but Ive never seen that much of the solar system at once before, and especially not so close together and so readily identifiable. The feeling of awe and wonder, seeing Mother Earth and her sisters in perspective as part of a family, was incredible, but made me feel smaller and more insignificant than ever!

Large bright fast streak in night sky

Sudbury Ontario Canada saw this around 12 am on May 7th in the East

Shooting star over Montreal,Quebec

12:05
Saw my first shooting star at 35yrs old... near in the city .. big one felt very close ! just waw

Shooting Blue Comet and Star

Saw what I believe was a bright light blue comet quickly fall and disappear within seconds around midnight. Later around 04:20am sighted a shooting star 1.5 seconds visible. Decided to check the internet and see if anyone reported anything...and stumbled upon this sight and commenting.

Live in Las Vegas, NV

Forgot to write I'm in Las Vegas, NV USA!

I just saw a shooting star at

I just saw a shooting star at 10pm from my place Kajang , Malaysia

Shooting star

Seen one 2:13am Kermit Wv!

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