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
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. 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.”

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Reader Comments

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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.

SAW THE IMPOSSIBLE. A TRUE SHOWER OF METEORS

For the past 2 TWO nights I have seen that which I had been told would never be. Hundreds of meteors every hour. I live in Baltimore county which is in maryland. (just fyi) I saw two nights ago, a flash out my window. I was surprised so I looked out. I then was rewarded with a view of such great numbers that I thought I must be seen things wrong (hallucinating ) So, I sat down got a drink of water and decided to venture outside. It was around 2:30am. I turned of my light and sat on the step. It was not more then ten seconds that a saw a PAIR a short run burning meteors. Following that right away was another and two more high and left and one long left and level w/ the high right. This went on for awhile. I then walk up to the middle school and found out that the vast number I had seen was only the start. I had been looking at the wrong area! When I look toward the west I was given a view of fictional level activity. These thing where all over the place, I mean no second was not w/ out at least one flame from heaven if not two or three more. I still doubt my own eyes, yet my wife who was woken as I rushed to find our video camera, I was on borrowed time almost, b/c it was 4:37am and sun break at 5:27 or so. I search and searched finding to old one Never the new. I returned out side w/ a four legged daughter, she has ventured w/ me on a number of missions ranging from getting a rush call to go to my business for one of my customers, to vacations and other things. Yet the most that she traveled w/ I late at night was to search for the best view site and then layout w/ her as my companion (shes a good heater better then wifei). So Ive seen many showers yet this was unlike anything that I had ever even dreamed of seeing and twice. I even saw them while the sun was lighting the sky blueish. The thing I dont understand is that they were showing up at both point of the compass West and EAST and Up and polaris. I didn't think they did that. Anyway Im look to see if anyone know about this event and mostly HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THIS. I want someone else to say you saw what was really happening, b/c I can't believe what I saw.

comet / meteor over lincolnshire at 00:27

comet or a Meteor spotted over Wyberton Boston heading south east

Shooting Star 9/6/2017 @1123PM

On 9/6/2017, while I was looking out of the window packing for my hike in Malaysia the following day from my room around 1123pm, I saw a bolt of green light dropping from the sky. I was overjoyed becasue this is the second time I have seen shooting star from my room.

Shooting Start 2 May 2017 Now

Hey Friends You Don't believe , Recently I have seen shoot star when I was on my phone Searching​ some things about How to earn money etc . And After seeing Shooting star I Was surprised to see that . Time Is 9:40 pm

Green shooting star 22nd April 2017

Saw a green shooting star when fishing about midnight. Was awesome. Proper green saw it flash through the sky.

Green shooting star

Where were you when you saw the green shooting star. UK? ? I saw one about 10.40pm in Merseyside. About 3times the size of any star I've ever seen!

Nothing

I've been sitting outside looking in the air during the meteor shower tonight, and I have not seen anything. It has been 3 hours now. My neck hurts

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