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

Meterors

Me and my son saw live In Pa close to Maryland. At around 9:20 PM on 8/25/17 we witnessed I assume a meteror. It was huge and looked like it was just above the clouds! I was facing N/E and it just appeared straight ahead in the sky!! We were shocked and in awe...it lasted until the clouds covered it!!! It was a white tip with red and a long green tail!! It was so close to us we agreed it would hit earth somewhere. Unreal!!! Could you tell me what it was and if anyone else saw it
Thank you!!

Dates for meteor showers

Hi,
Are the dates for meteor peaks for the northern hemisphere only? I live in Australia, and on another website, it says the peak for the Geminid meteorite shower is between Dec 14-15, as opposed to Dec 13-14th as listed in this article. I am planning a viewing night with friends, so it would be great if someone could let me know which dates are accurate for us.
Thanks!

meteor shower dates

The Editors's picture

The dates apply to both hemispheres. It is viewable in the Southern Hemisphere, with the best time for viewing (peak) being the night of December 13, and the morning of December 14. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Geminids radiant rises later, so from the late night of December 13 into the wee hours of the morning the next day should be a good viewing time, if the weather is good. The cooperative Moon will be between the last quarter and new phases. Hope you all have a great time!

Thanks for your reply!

Thanks for your reply!
I guess my confusion is with the differences in time, as US is 14hrs behind our time here, so the 13th Dec 9pm would around the 14th 11am here. But do you mean then that the night of our 13th (US Dec12th) to 14th Dec is still the best viewing time for the Geminids?
Thanks!

It was my fortune to see last

It was my fortune to see last week, meteorite passed over my house. It was so low I could hear it. This in south central Ohio. At first I thought it was fireworks but, there was no report and the trajectory was all wrong. If it didn't burn up in tirely, I'm sure it landed within a few hundred yards.

Meteors in Central Florida

Aug. 13, 2017 about 5:30 am , I am NW of Orlando Florida and my wife and I saw about 10 white meteors about 10 minutes apart. Some Bright some not so much. most heading SSE some at other slight angles.
Moon was bright , but we saw them close to where the moon was in the sky. Guessing if the moon wasn't bright and we where farther from the city we would have seen more. Guessing it was associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet.

12th august

there was two meteros at just past 10pm they was very very low I thought it was lanterns but they was to quick and there was no breeze?

SHOOTING STAR

On the night of August 17th we were on the beach in Shelter Island NY at around 10 pm looking at the stars and we saw a very bright and beautiful meteor shoot across the sky!

Very bright fireball

Today / 0446 EST / A very bright white fireball lit up the sky. I've seen several before, but not as bright and intense as this one. My entire backyard was lit up and it left a reddish-brown corkscrew looking trail of smoke as it went from west to east across the central Florida sky. Super brilliant white light-

Bright white light.

Beginning of the summer I was walking my dog and out of the corner of my eye I see a bright white light. I turn to look expecting it to just be either a helicopter or plane as I am sort of nder the arrival path to McCarran airport. As I turned to look I realized this is right on top of me, I could hear it hissing. Both my self and my dog kind of jerk reaction ducked, and it went right over our heads moving at a severe angle. The light was actually higher up and not as close as originally thought but no more than 20' above the ground. It burned and hissed for 2 more seconds roughly and went out. I watched it as it either hit the roof or just cleared a gas station roof. The angle it came in at and speed it was moving did not give me the impression this object fell from the sky or was a firework at tail end of trajectory. This thing was moving. Was it part of a plane that broke off? Burning metal from plane or heli? The light was really bright white, not a headlight white but more a phospherous white. Any ideas?

August 1st

I saw a very bright white meteor in the northern sky at about 4:25 am in southern Ohio this morning

Beautiful shooting star with

Beautiful shooting star with a bright red hue seen in Washoe Valley south of Reno on July 29, 2017 at approx. 1:30am. It had a bright red outline, looking like a firework!

Meteor? Sighting July 29

From west of Newberg, Oregon, I saw a fireball with a long green tail fall out of the sky to the north

Meteor, Asteroid

Saw a bright green asteroid with a long tail going to the North. Located in Moses Lake Washington, it dropped below the tree line.

meteor or comment in Sequim, Wa.

I just experienced a very low meteor (a ball with fire tail) that was flying downward, but in a parallel fashion in Sequim, Wa. @ about 10:15 p.m. on July 29th 2017. I saw the tail quit burning just before it looked like it would hit and IT was close

Blue streak

tonote witnessed by 7 people a blue streak,moved fairly slowly from possible Se to Nw
Ended in burning out with orangish lite

amazing shooting star or comet

Driving through Sandy, OR and saw the most amazing red then purple then green shooting star go across the sky! It went on forever..Did anyone else see this? What was it??

meteor/comet

I saw an amazing fireball shoot across the sky from S/E to N/W at 10:50 pm the night of July 28, 2017 in Vernon, B.C. Canada. Very low on the horizon, it seemed to just clear the hills north of me. I was afraid it would crash down, scary in an area that has been surrounded by forest fires for the last 3 weeks.

I saw an amazing bright red

I saw an amazing bright red ball of fire with trail pieces around 1055 1100 go across the sky an it broke up an went out . It was beautiful I
Am near Skiatook O.K an yes it was very close it came from the west an fell toward the east . Very clear an bright .

The closest and clearest shooting star North TX 07/27/17:10-11p

Did anyone see it? I was driving north, close to Van Alstyne TX, and watched a light trail with a super clear flame head "blow out", like a candle, fairly close to land. It was the most brilliant and clear "shooting star" I have ever seen. It came from the west and ended in the east. I apologize for the uneducated explanation. It was amazing

I'm near Skiatook O.k an it

I'm near Skiatook O.k an it was very close an clear

Amazing colorful falling star

July 25, 2017. 12:30 am San Antonio Texas, I saw the most amazing and colorful falling star, I saw a bright thick colorful twinkeling light that caught my eye it lasted about 4 seconds. It had about three different colors, I thought I would look on this sight to see if any one else had seen it.

AMAZING COLORFUL FALLING STAR

Yep!! We saw it here in Austin and it looked like a combination of a lightning bolt, fireworks, and a meteor. Unreal!!

CAD Engg.

I record a Clip when falling star and save my mobile.

Engg.

I saw a falling star from sky at kahna nou lahore Pakistan
Time 23 July 10: 30pm 2017.

Medford oregon

I wanted to add to my last comment. I saw that fall from the sky in Medford Oregon so if anybody else saw that around this area try to post if you can. The light was huge I'm used to seeing pictures of falling stars or meteors and they look pretty small but this looked really big and that's what was amazing about this sighting.

I live in talent and around

I live in talent and around 1045 me and my roomates were smoking outside when we all saw the gree light fall kinda towards the airport it looked like or inbetween medford and central point

It was just about 10:45 at

It was just about 10:45 at night on July 23rd 2017 when I walked outside to bring my trash cans out to the road. Something caught my eye I looked up and there was the brightest ball of green light falling from the sky straight down right in front of the Big Dipper straight to the ground and it seemed the burn out just as it was touching the top of the trees. This is the first time I've seen anything like this it was weird it seemed to fall straight down to the Earth.. what a beautiful sight that was.

July 21.2017 n.e. Philadelphia

Sitting in my friends house. Storm door closed. With a tiny window on top . and 3 windows by the door shades barely open. The brightest flash of white yellow orange brilliant light encompased thee entire one floor straight through for maybe 3 to 4 seconds. So bright . as if we were in a glass house. Rushed outside. A few people on the block were as shocked as us. And we are not far at all from both PennyPack and the n.e. airport.. Absolutely no plains in the sky since ...not normal..

GREEN SHOOTING STAR?

I was outside the house around 8-8.30pm few days ago.. i saw this white light with a green light surrounding it. idk if its really white inside but all i can see is the green light around it. its like a lighting stone toy that's been thrown in the sky.

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