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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Meteor

I saw a nice one just after 11pm as I was going out to get some firewood. It lit up the sky like lightning and disappeared behind a ridge

Large Shooting Star

I was heading north on US23 near Flint when I saw a high shooting star at 616 am on February 15, 2018. It was beautiful!

CALIFORNIA- LOOKED LIKE A 747 PLANE ON FIRE IN NORTH/CENTRAL CA

Tonight, 1/19/18, at 6:10pm, my mom saw a huge fireball over north/central CA that she said looked like a huge 747 on fire & crashing. She described it as fully ablaze and very large, though she could tell it was very far away. She viewed it from Yuba City, California, but very distant & still huge from a very far distance. She said "I could tell it was really far away, but even tho it was obviously very distant, it was still really, really huge and fully ablaze. It literally looked like a 747 was on fire & crashing to earth. I was terrified it may land on houses. It looked really bad. It was so huge, even from here, so it had to have been enormous. Please let me know if you hear of any plane crashes or asteroids on fire, because this thing was so huge, so clear even from here, and completely on fire & I'm hoping people didn't get killed. It was so huge... It must be something really bad." If anyone else saw it or knows what happened, can you please reply to me? I'd really appreciate it. Now it's making me crazy from wondering. I can't find a single thing on the internet. She said it was super creepy, & she's kind of a sky watcher like I am. It must've been pretty impressive for her to voice message me in somewhat of a panic. I hope I can find out something. Thank you so much for reading this, & ANY info you can provide. :-)

Northern California shooting star large

I saw this as well. I was on the road near the Sacramento Airport and I wondered if it was a shooting star or a plane about to crash. It was huge unlike any shooting star I've ever seen before.

I saw this from south Denver,

I saw this from south Denver, Colorado a little past 7pm.

Green light in sky

I saw the green fire ball last night about 2ish am in uk right out side bedroom window it was beautiful

green light in sky

correction it was 12:30am

Green fireball

I saw a green fireball falling from the sky on Tuesday, January 16th around 7:15 pm. I was driving down I80 eastbound near I55 exchange. It was northeast. Beautiful!

Metro/ shooting star

I'm in Essex UK. Just seen a meteor/ shooting star 2. 25 pm A huge tail and fireball, so excited, but I see there are no showers for this date ( 19 1 2018)

Fireball Tuesday night

Saw huge green fireball in northeastern horizon in Champaign, Illinois. Very cool.

Michigan fireball

Would this have created large enough debris that fell to earth?

Meteor

At approximately 8:10pm all the northern windows in the house lite up brightly with a pale orange glow. I figured it was a meteor and wish I had seen it. What I thought was confirmed when a friend texted me of a huge meteor a friend had seen at the same time. When I consulted the meteor web sites they were all offline due to the many reports coming in of a large meteor event in Sourthern Michigan. I'm 80 miles south of Michigan in the Lima, Ohio suburbs.

Fireball in the sky

I was driving home on January 16, 2018 at approximately 8:10 p.m. in Bedford, OH and looked toward the northwest sky and saw a huge circle of fire falling toward the earth. It was so large that it seemed like it could have landed anywhere near me. I wasn't sure what I saw until I got home and looked it up and confirmed that it was a fireball. A very special gift that I had the opportunity to witness.

Fireball

The Editors's picture

Yes! This was a spectacular meteor, a type known as a fireball. There are many dozens of reports from midwestern states and Canada on the American Meteor Society (AMS) web site. 

About 40% the reporters mention hearing sound (as in BOOM!) associated with this fireball. This is extraordinary – and a sure indicator that this meteor was a big one.

There are lots of amazing videos of this object online. The fireball briefly lit up the ground like daylight. –Jeff DeTray

saw fire fall from sky several spots near Williamston, mi

Driving home from east Lansing tonight, saw fire fall from sky. Different places in the area. Others saw it too. What the heck was it?

Fireball meteor

The Editors's picture

It was a brilliant type of meteor called a fireball. How lucky you saw this! There are many reports coming in.

METEOR OVER MICHIGAN!

Did not see it, but MAN did I feel it and hear it around 815. Cruised right over us. Heard the rumbling and then BOOM. All of Michigan felt it. Crazy! Is there supposed to be a meteor shower tonight?

biggest meteor I've ever seen!

At 8:10pm tonight over near Middleburg, Ohio. It was the biggest, brightest meteor I've ever seen!

Green tailed meteor?

Just saw something fast, green and bright as heck fall straight down toward the eastern horizon! It almost made me drive off the road. Beautiful! What was it though?!

Saw it too!

I am in East Liverpool, OH and had a green “shooting star” come down about 50 yards in front of my car right around 8:10pm too! (It May have been a few minutes after but right around there!) it was big and scared me at first! I even thought it might be a flare or something! Obviously there was something coming in over Ohio tonight!

Huge Meteor!!!

I saw a huge Meteor at 7:13pm In TwinLakes WI. It was directly is front of me while I was driving east of twin Lakes WI. It a bright ball of fire, greenish in color.

Meteor Shower

I counted 4 this morning at 6:47am in Toronto, DVP/401 area

meteor shower

Is there will be a meteor shower or a myth..

GEMINIDS

I saw GEMINIDS tonight in East-London.
14-12-2017 at 00.22am.

I saw it in simcoe ontario

I saw it in simcoe ontario area
around 3am

Geminids

I was able to see about 8-10 in 5 mins time over Arkansas around 1030pm.

I SAW THEM TONIGHT

COUNTED 4 IN THE NORTH SKY OVER TEXAS 12PM

Geminid Showers

We've been overcast most times when the Perseid Showers and the Geminid Showers show up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.

Shooting star

a.m. Bradenton Florida, making a wish, just in case! Beautiful and so fast.

Beatiful shootings starts

Saw 4 to be exact probably minutes from each other. We had a nice fire going and we just looking at the sky i was just commenting how clear and nice the sky was looking and then we had the 4 shooting stars back to back. Palm bay, Brevard County, Fl.

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