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
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.”


Reader Comments

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I have watched the Perseid

I have watched the Perseid meteor shower for years and it is a yearly event here with a few friends.

Just wanted to know if there

Just wanted to know if there were any meteor showers visible in New Jersey coming up

Yes, you can see any of the

The Editors's picture

Yes, you can see any of the meteor showers in the chart above in New Jersey, provided you have a dark sky. The Perseids are coming up!

I am so excited! I have never

I am so excited! I have never seen anything more than shooting star and I'm like 11. It will probably be especially easy to see where I'm from, which is Grantsville, four mile radias and no building bigger than the elementry school. I think this is gonna be great!!!!!!!

I just saw a comet in the sky

I just saw a comet in the sky on my way home from my in-law's, and was curious if the meteor shower due to show tonight would be visible from New Hampshire? Was my first time ever seeing a shooting star or comet or meteor or anything, and it was breathtaking :)

Fantastic to see a comet!

The Editors's picture

Fantastic to see a comet! Congrats! Unfortunately, in 2012, the almost-full Moon will probably wash out this lightweight meteor shower--which is best seen from the Southern Hemisphere.

Hey, this is amazing. I saw

Hey, this is amazing. I saw something I thought was a comet across between 9:30 and 10:00 on Sunday night. I have seen falling stars several times in my life and to me the seemed to fall in downward motion but this seem to be going horizonally across the sky as blazing ball with a tail until it faded out of view. I live in North Caroina. I just happened to see it while sitting out on the porch talking on the phone. I stayed out for hours watching the sky hoping to see something again. I have never seen an event like this before in 45 years of life. Ihave always been somewhat of a sky watcher, but have seemed to miss out on seeing the night sky in the past few years. It definitely is a sight worth a second glance. Amazing!!! :)

You saw a Delta Aquarid

The Editors's picture

You saw a Delta Aquarid meteor. The Delta Aquarid and Perseid meteor showers in late July and August are the most reliable meteor showers in the Northern Hemisphere.
After midnight to dawn on July 28-30 was the best viewing of the Delta Aquarid meteors.

Perhaps you mean you saw a

Perhaps you mean you saw a meteor. The comets I have witnessed during the63 years or so have all been rather faint and one would need to stare in their general direction and concentrate to see them. Meteors,on the other-hand, unexpectedly streak across the sky and grab ones attention.

Hi good morning son 10

Hi good morning son 10 years old and he want to see the shower We are are from italy and we want to see the exact time and date here in italy july 30 and augost please here in europe italy what time at night and the date ..thank you very much for your kindness... Hoping to see my son thank and god bless

My wife and I live about 30

My wife and I live about 30 minutes south of San Antonio, TX and are wanting to know when the best time for us to try and see the Halley comet Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be and what direction we should be looking? Can anyone help us out please?

I'm not sure which direction,

I'm not sure which direction, but a friend of mine said that it'll start sometime between 2 and 3 AM, and says that the best time to watch would be before tomorrow's sunrise.

What is exactly time named

What is exactly time named "predawn" and "late evening"? When exactly should I observe the stars? Is "late evening" be after midnigt, e.d. 'tomorrow', next date?

Predawn: an hour or so before

The Editors's picture

Predawn: an hour or so before morning twilight. Best time to view most major showers.
Late evening: approximately between 10 pm and midnight (or a little past).
In general, most major meteor showers are best seen after midnight; some do not even appear until after then. Usually, a better time to see them is after 2 a.m., and the best time is about an hour or so just before morning twilight.
Geminids, however, can be seen starting earlier, such as around 9 or 10 pm, until morning twilight.
Sometimes Draconids may be visible at nightfall through early evening.

One autumn morning in late

One autumn morning in late 1994 I woke up at 3:00 am to drive an hour for work at a near by town. I was driving out on my dirt road where I was able to vveiw an enormous fir ball which was probably an orphan meteor. It was so bright it light up the road and my car like bright day and I thought it would crash on me so I stopped the car. To begin it was very irredescent blue then faded toa warm pinkish red and then disapeared leaving and faint red tail. Was so exciting to see. I thought I would share this with you. Thank you Brian

Thanks for sharing, Brian!

The Editors's picture

Thanks for sharing, Brian! That's a once-in-a-lifetime sighting!

I've been a Seattle "city"

I've been a Seattle "city" girl most of my life. In 2006 we moved to the "country" in eastern Washington State. I have never seen anything as spectacular as I did at 11:20pm on September 9, 2010.(I even marked my calendar in case this is an annual event)
I was gazing at the eastern sky, when a huge bright green "fireball" with a very long tail passed before my eyes traveling in a northerly direction. I was absolutely "star-struck" to say the least! What did I witness? I googled everything that I could think of, but I have never been given any inkling of what I may have witnessed. Most of the folks that I tell my story to just kind of say "oh really" or they blow me off.
Do you have any idea of what I witnessed that night?
I take my dog on late night walks on our property and am always on the lookout for the beautiful star shows. Ideas, Please? Thank You.

Sounds to me like you got to

Sounds to me like you got to witness a view of the Northern Lights

Your description sounds like

Your description sounds like you witnesses a Bolide
The word bolide comes from the Greek βολίς (bolis) [14] which can mean a missile or to flash. The term generally applies to fireballs reaching magnitude −14 or brighter.[15] Astronomers tend to use "bolide" to identify an exceptionally bright fireball, particularly one that explodes (sometimes called a detonating fireball). It may also be used to mean a fireball which creates audible sounds.

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

it was probely a comet

A few months ago, I found a

A few months ago, I found a rock that looked like a meteorite. Then, I think a week ago, I looked it up online and found out it was a meteorite but, I did a little more research and found out it was a Lunar Meteorite!!! I'm also hoping I will see some some meteors when I go out with my telescope again!

I have a nephew who loves

I have a nephew who loves watching the night sky. We would like to know if there will be a meteor shower in Florida in June or July, and what time is the best time to watch meteor showers? Thank you for your time. My nephew is 9 year old. Wanda

Hi Wanda, the meteor showers

The Editors's picture

Hi Wanda, the meteor showers for this summer will be the Delta Aquarid and the Perseid, in July and August, both visible from Florida. Please see the chart above. Thanks!

I live in North Carolina, and

I live in North Carolina, and it was around 4:35 am Monday morning when I saw a bright mint green light fall from sky heading towards trees, it scared me so I turned my head so I don't know what happened I was headed north coming from youngsville heading towards franklinton.

My mom said that it was a

My mom said that it was a comet. idk, that was my first time seeing anything like that. I haven't heard anything on the news about others seeing it.

If you could see it moving,

If you could see it moving, it wasn't a comet. It was probably a meteor.

I saw this. Was just

I saw this. Was just checking to see if anyone else did. It seemed a little later, like 5:00 am. I was headed to work on I-71, toward Columbus, Ohio. Saw it kinda west to eat. Same minty color.