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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A shooting star???

On friday (21/07/2017) around 4:40am, I saw a big brighting light on the sky, however it didn't look like a shooting star, at least not as I have seen them before. This has brighting green color outside and a blue one inside but the light didn't make a line, it was a kind of explosion. I saw it clearly, but I can't describe it properly. Is there anyone who saw something similar today? Or can someone suggest me any website to search information about it? Thanks guys.

Reply

What part of the country are you in? Im in west central Georgia and the wife and I witnessed something we cannot explain at around 3 am this morning. We went out to walk our dogs, we have a puppy and we have to take her out every 2 hours. Anyway, my wife was in front of me about 15 feet, (keep in mind we are in a rural area and it's pitch black outside) all of a sudden it look like a soft buleish light was lighting up her back. My first thought was she had her cell phone in her hand and it was causing the light. Very quickly it got extremely bright, so bright my wife said when she turned her head, it was blinding her left eye. It was a light like I've never seen, only way I can explain it is a soft blueish light, but really bright. It lit her up and the ground around her, but thats it. There was no beam coming from the source, just a light on and around her. This all happened extremly fast. Once I realized it wasn't her phone i turned around to see if the source was behind me, then i looked up in the sky and there was a long bright white light going horizontal in the sky. In went out almost as soon as I laid eyes (it did not blind me when I looked at it) on it. It left 4 dark thin blue lines spaced out evenly from one another. It looked almost like blue neon, but not quite. Then it just faded away after 10 seconds or so. I have been searching the internet all day to see if there is an explanation for this and I have found nothing that's even close. Needless to say I've had no sleep all day and I've actully been concerned for my wifes health. For all I know it could have been radiation. I've never seen or heard of anything like this. Is this something similar to what you seen? It didn't look like it was high in the sky, but more like 40 feet or so above the tree tops. It's hard to tell because its so dark. If anyone has any answers please reply......

Im in Denver Colorado and i

Im in Denver Colorado and i also witnessed this around 4:30 am . Looked like falling star at first but then like explosion ....bleu and green color and much bigger then just a shooting star

Fire Falling

I'm in Parkersburg WV and about an hour ago walking home from work and I was standing in front of a church looking at a statue of Jesus coming to enlightenment and looked into the sky and saw what seemed to be a ball of fire or something on fire falling from the sky and then burning out. It happened in only a little fragment of the sky for a second and burned out or disappeared. It didn't even appear to be falling in a straight line. Any ideas?

Fire Ball

Me n my fiancee here in san diego were sitting outside july 19th n we also saw the fire ball that disappeared, i even saw a small falling star kinda do a circle move then drop. Shortly after i tried to get my loved ones attention we both looked at the sky n caught the electric blueish whte but outlined in a firey reddish orange but as it disappeared it was like little sparks behind

sightings

i saw elvis in drag in the night sky

Saw my first shooting star

Driving to Philadelphia from NJ about 915 pm Saturday night snd saw it streak across the sky. Awesome site.

Big bright ball of light

Late yesterday evening I saw a giant ball of light, with a white glow around it, fall from the sky over NC. It looked about the size of a full moon falling! It was scary but amazing at the same time! I've seen shooting stars and meteor showers before, but nothing ever like that. Anyone else in NC see it?

If you are talking about

If you are talking about Saturday night, I saw one! I have never seen anything like it!!! It looked so close! I just sat and watched in awe. I'm in Ohio.

Shooting Star

I saw a shooting star today, July 17, 2017, at about 5:15 am while walking the dog. It was in the western sky, shooting downward, with bright white, yellow and orange sparks trailing behind it. It lasted a couple of seconds. It was beautiful!

Shooting Star

I saw the same Shooting Star this morning while I was out running. It was awesome!

I saw a fireball that broke up into several pieces this morning

I was sitting in my yard right after 5am today 7/13/2017 looking at the sky and saw a fireball looking northeast that broke up into several pieces. It look like it was over Lake Pontchatrain in New Orleans, LA. It was really awesome.

Fireball in the sky

It wasn't recently, but my fiance and I saw a huge, fireball in Salem Oregon, the last week of July last year. I remember it was truly an amazing sight. As bright as a huge fire burning right in front of you, but up in the sky. It really didn't seem to fizzle out as it fell.
We both looked at eachother questioning if we had just seen what we saw. I remember searching the internet continuously for several days, trying to find an explanation. However, I couldn't find anything about it any where.

Fire Balls

Last night, June 24, 2017, I saw three fireballs that lasted several seconds and fizzled out and brightened up again as they were falling. It was the most amazing sight in the sky I have ever seen.

Fire balls

I saw one exactly like that tonight, and I said the same thing, most amazing thing I've ever seen in the sky

Fire in the sky

I saw the same thing about a half hour ago. Im in cincinnati where are you located.

Fireball over Charleston wv

Early June 26,2017 at around 1 am in south Charleston wv, I was driving west bound on I64. All of a sudden I saw a huge green fireball streaking across the sky. It was traveling south to north at a tremendous speed.

6/26/17 1:01 am green ball of light over Charleston, WV

at 1:01 am on 6/26/17, while driving west on I-64 near South Charleston, WV, I witnessed a greenish ball of light traveling from south to north-west. It's speed was too slow to be a shooting star, but too fast to be a low-flying aircraft. As I watched, it almost seemed as if its direction changed to west.

My husband and I both witnessed this, and both recounted the same thing.

Fireball

My son and I saw this fireball at about 12:25 am St.louis, Mo it was very low and fast going in a North East direction.

Shooting star. quick moving. Surprised me. Ma

Saw shooting star about 11:30 June 22 2017. It was very

A very low shoot star...

I was out talking an evening stroll and saw a very low shooting star (?)... what seemed to be 25-30 ft. above my heard. I watching it shoot across ahead of me and fizzle out. This is the closest I've ever been to one.

Green Shooting Star fall

Like every day I was sleeping on the ceiling ground floor on my house in front of the sky and I was lucky, which I saw on an intermining star fall on 18th June 2017. This was the time of the night 10 or 10.30 pm piece of star falling down from the top of the screen and that amazing sight disappearedwithin few seconds. And luckily Again on the second night on 19th june 2017 at time near by 11.45 pm, i had seen star fall again. I am so happy to see that again, So sharing you my experience. ohh God, hope my wish comes true.

Green Shooting Star

My son and I were in our backyard Sat/ Sun. June 17, 2017, Parker County,Tx. having a heart to heart and out the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was a shooting star in the south west. I stopped talking and asked my son. "did you see that?" and he said he saw it too. Then only seconds later since we were both looking at the same direction, to our delight!. A much larger and brighter shooting star or maybe an asteroid? I don't know, but it looked like a green pearl, feel through the sky. Right in front of us amazingly. I was just wondering if anybody if else saw it too?

Green shooting star

I was on my way to work in williamstown and i saw a Green Shooting star fly overhead ! It was Beautiful * and burned out just before touching down ...

Green Shooting Star/Comet

My sons and I driving home at 11:45pm on June 17, 2017 in Irving, TX. Driving south and see a beautiful bright green light falling from the sky over Arlington, TX. Usually shooting stars only last a second but this one gave us at least 3-4 seconds. Enough time that I had time to ask my boys to look and see it. This was the 1st time my oldest boy saw a shooting star or comet and he got to share it with me. It was just beautiful and special to share it with him.

bright green falling star

It started from my far left, and lit the sky up neon green with a tracer that made it look like huge sword being thrown. It stayed lit until it look like it was hitting the ground and went halfway across the sky. By far one of the most coolest I've ever seen in my life. June 17 at 11:43 Palacios tx

bright blue shooting star

sorry its the 17th today

big bright blue shooting star

seen from williamstown east of melbourne victoria around 10pm 16th june 2017

Stars

As I was writing the scooter across town early morning around 5 o'clock shooting star so long that it seemed like I could see exactly where it landed long white tail

Falling star

In Mt. Pleasant Ga, close Brunswick Ga, saw a star entering earth atmosphere. Was awesome! ! Long tail, and smoke trail.

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