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

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falling star

At 12:10on a falling star was spotted manila time on qc

Green fireworks explode

This morning around 5:25 am (roughly) near Mount Laurel, Virginia, I saw a bright streak of green. It slid down quickly then burst onto sparkling green pieces. I thought wow, pretty awesome.it was so quick and bright.

Comets;

I have seen nice sights too; watching Venus set last night was "an experience the sky was so clear"; I do not know why meteors are "green";

Re:comets

They're not all green. I think the colour depends on what the shooting star is made of (ie comet fragments are usually just ice and dust, whereas meteors are typically rocks, usually with quite high levels of metal content). Fireworks are made to burn in different colours by adding different metals. Each metal basically burns with a different coloured flame. Id imagine the green colour of the shooting star you saw was made in a similar way.

Comets 1950 Conn.

Around the 1950's; there was a Comet visible East Coast; My Dad woke us at 3 am to see it; I could see the Comet near the Horizon; this was the type of person my Dad was; he and his Brother Tom liked Astronomy; Uncle Tom from MA met Neil Armstrong at Textile Mill Museum.

Comets;

There were three visible Comets in the early 1960's when I was about 10; I could see the Comet;(I did not need my Dad's Binoculars); "Fun";

Comets; 1960's;

Actually my Uncle Thomas met Scott Carpenter at the North Andover MA Mill & Textile Museum; I hope to go there this summer; Anne'51;

View

I saw a meteorite Momday 12:16am in michigan city Indiana shooting down towards Walmart

Shooting Star and a white owl

Saw a white owl sitting and few seconds later a shooting star in the opposite direction. Both are a rare occurrence as far as i am concerned.
Date - 11th April 2018, Time - minute or two before 2 AM, India time.

I Walked With Halley's Comet

This is wordy, but bear with me on this. . .I reckon this is the best place to post this, not a recent sighting, just a little history. Back in the late 1990's every morning for a week or more I walked with Halley's Comet as it glided across the Oklahoma sky. Oh boy, I tell you what a sight to hold dear and to remember. At that time I was delivering newspapers that my then teenaged daughter signed up for but failed to get up and run the route, so I did it for her. It was amazing, absolutely amazing and surreal to see this "dark-ball" with it's hazy, "white?" cloudy tail move across the sky and yet it appear not to move at all, I remember thinking it looked more like a painting or a sketching. The only way I knew of the comet's progress was that the next morning it was further along in the 3-4am sky. On a weekend morning I woke my young son from his sleep (actually begged then bribed him with a new toy until he submitted to my please) and we worked the paper route together while watching the comet. I remember telling him that the next time this particular comet comes to visit again; he will be a man, most likely grandfather in his late seventies and that I wanted him to remember this time with is Mom and that he should go out to visit his past with Halley's Comet, maybe take a grandson/daughter with him making the sightings a family tradition. Breath-taking sight, my heart still swells from the memory.

I'm in Payson, AZ it was

I'm in Payson, AZ it was about 9:00am. Just saw something like a meteor or falling star fall from the sky. It was awesome! I didn't know you could see them during the day. It was so shiny and bright, it was like a giant ball with a tail. Crazy!

falling star

Green Valley. AZ. 3-25-2018 driving on 1-19 seen a large bright light falling straight down from the sky maybe at 500ft from the ground the light went out. Was unbelievable sight.

Green Shooting Star

Driving to work at 7:35am and happened to see a large green shooting star. Near Rome Georgia.

Shooting Star

I saw a shooting star this morning around 7:35am also! It was my first time and I asked my son why someone would be shooting fireworks that early in the morning before I realized what I had actually witnessed. It was breathtaking and I’m am blessed to have seen it!......BTW I live in Douglasville and I viewed it to the west.

Green fireball

I am in GA and I was on my way to work (7:30 a.m.) and I saw this green light falling and then it broke into several pieces and was gone. It looked almost like what a flare or fireworks that was a "dud" would look like. Neatest thing I've seen and it's not the first time. This makes 3 times in the past 6 months. The other 2 times were at night around 10 p.m.

It was pretty awesome!

It was pretty awesome!

3/28/18 Meteor

Not sure what part of Georgia you are in, but I believe I saw the same thing. I was traveling east on Ga Hwy 96 bear Bonaire, Georgia, at the time.

Meteor Shower

Green with yellow colored falling star whatever, 4seconds.

3/24/18 4:15 AM large fireball spotted W of FT Collins

large fireball from SSW to NNW followed by a rumble about 2 min after. Also it was bright enough to cast shadows.

3/24/18 4:15 AM large fireball spotted W of FT Collins

large fireball from SSW to NNW followed by a rumble about 2 min after.

Shooting star

Just see the brightest shooting star I have ever seen in Great Brickhill Uk, amazing sight and broke into 4 pieces, NW in the sky!! These types of things are amazing and free!

brightest shooting star

just seen the brightest shooting star tonight around 12.15 am in boulder colorado looking towareds the north east its direction headind was north slightly west.

Boulder

boulder is amazing I'd love to live there!

Huge white ball

I was out with my dog between 1 and 1:15am, looked to the northeast and saw a large white ball with a long tail falling straight down. This thing looked huge and close.

Cont.

I forgot to mention that I am in North Carolina.

Something fell from the sky.

I was looking at what I thought was a star. It moved an inch and fell straight down. N idaho. I heard a strange noise. Not a meteor. Freaked me out!

Fire ball in the sky over southern Ontario Canada approx. 6:20pm

My Hubby and I saw a large fireball with two tails heading west in the sky over our house in Penetanguishene Ontario Canada approximately 6:20 pm today, March 3, 2018 and lasted about 10 minutes before it dipped below the horizon. It was bright enough to see even though it was before sunset. Very cool!

Last nights amazing meteor fall

Last night at 8:48 pm I saw the most amazing huge fireball which suddenly appeared in the sky like a small planet on fire. It exploded and a few smaller pieces came off went immediately on fire and the vanish into darkness just as fast as they appeared. It was over in seconds! The pieces were so huge somebody had to find these pieces or see them hit the earth. why am I not hearing more about this? I hope no one was injured or killed. Where did they land?

Meteor

Your not alone.I saw it and am from central wisconsin.MY son heard it first and so I opened the house window and stuck my head out and then holy crap I saw it.It was to the south of us.

meteorite

at 7 10 on February 19 I was sitting on the deck when I saw it overhead going eastwardly looked like some sort of fireworks reddish yellow low and very beautiful

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