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Meteor Shower Calendar 2024: Dates and Times | Is There a Meteor Shower Tonight? | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Is There a Meteor Shower Tonight? 2024 Meteor Showers Calendar: Times and Dates

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When Does the Meteor Shower Start?

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When’s the next meteor shower? See the Almanac’s 2024 Meteor Shower Calendar for the best viewing times, number of shooting stars per hour, and viewing tips for all the year’s major meteor showers.

2024 Meteor Shower Calendar

The dates of major meteor showers do not change much from year to year, though the shower’s peak (or “maximum”) 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
SHOWERBEST VIEWINGPOINT OF ORIGINDATE OF MAXIMUM*NO. PER HOUR**ASSOCIATED COMET
QuadrantidPredawnNJan. 3–425
LyridPredawnSApr. 21–2210Thatcher
Eta AquaridPredawnSEMay 4–510Halley
Delta AquaridPredawnSJuly 29-3010
PerseidPredawnNEAug. 11–1350Swift-Tuttle
DraconidLate eveningNWOct. 8–96Giacobini-Zinner
OrionidPredawnSOct. 21–2215Halley
Northern TauridLate eveningSNov. 8-93Encke
LeonidPredawnSNov. 17-1810Tempel-Tuttle
AndromedidLate eveningSNov. 25–275Biela
GeminidAll nightNEDec. 13–1475
UrsidPredawnNDec. 21–225Tuttle
*May vary by one or two days    **Moonless, rural sky    Bold = most prominent
  • “Predawn” means between midnight and about an hour before morning twilight. This is the best time to view most major showers.
  • “Late evening” means approximately between 10 p.m. and midnight (or a little past).

The Best Meteor Showers of 2024

Quadrantids | January 3–4, 2024

In the right conditions, the Quadrantids are one of the year’s best meteor showers, as they feature an average of 25 meteors per hour at their peak. The Quadrantids’ peak is relatively short, lasting from about midnight to dawn, but the volume of meteors makes the experience worthwhile.

In 2024, the Moon will be in the last quarter, obscuring the fainter meteors. Your best bet is to view after the Moon sets on the 4th of January, just before dawn. See your Moon rise and set times.

Lyrids | April 21–22, 2024

The Lyrids peak on the night of April 21–22, 2024, when you can expect to see an average of 10 meteors per hour in dark, clear skies. 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.

In 2024, the Moon will be 98% full during the Lyrids’ peak, which will make the shooting stars more difficult to see. Try watching in the early morning pre-dawn hours after the Moon has set.

Eta Aquarids | May 4–5, 2024

The debris from Halley’s Comet creates the Eta Aquarids! This meteor shower is most spectacular in the Southern Hemisphere, where the meteor’s radiant is higher in the sky. Eta Aquarids are often seen closer to the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere. 

In 2024, the Eta Aquarids will happen when the Moon is only  16% full, which will make for nearly optimal viewing conditions.

Delta Aquarids | July 29–30, 2024

The Delta Aquarids get their name from the constellation Aquarius, which they appear to emanate from. A weaker shower, the Delta Aquarids typically peak in late July and produce between 10 and 20 meteors per hour around this time. A truly dark sky offers the best chance of seeing the Delta Aquarids, as they tend not to be as bright as some of the other meteor showers.

In 2024, the crescent Moon (33% full) will obscure some of the fainter meteors but will still allow you to see some shooting stars.

Perseids | August 11–13, 2024

The Perseids are one of the best meteor showers to observe, with over 50 meteors per hour at its peak! Plus, we can all enjoy seasonable August nights. 

In 2024, the Moon will be about 40% full. While this will obscure some of the fainter meteors, it will still be a beautiful summer show.

See our complete guide to the Perseid meteor shower.

Draconids | October 8-9, 2024

The Draconids aren’t one of the bigger shows 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.

The second quarter moon will darken the skies in the early evening for what should be a good show. The best viewing will be in the early evening from a dark location far away from city lights. 

In 2024, the shower will peak when the Moon is 29% full, so moonlight will present minimal interference. The best time to watch the Draconids is early evening on October 8.

Orionids | October 21–22, 2024

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 the brightest and fastest streaking stars, the Orionids appear in mid-October and peak in the hours before dawn on October 22. 

In 2024, the Orionids will be difficult to view. The Moon will be 77% full and will obscure much of the show.

Leonids | November 17–18, 2024

The Leonids is typically an average shower with 10 to 15 shooting stars per hour, but on rare occasions, they have been known to produce “meteor storms,” which result in thousands of meteors streaking across the sky. (We do not expect meteor storms this year.)

In 2024, the Moon will be 95% full, making viewing the Leonids very difficult due to the moonshine.

Learn more about the Leonid meteor shower.

Geminids | December 13–14, 2024

The Geminids are THE biggest meteor shower of the year, and the shooting stars streak across the sky the entire night with 75 meteors per hour at its peak. Plus, it gets dark early, so you don’t have to stay up until the early hours to see the king of the meteor showers.

In 2023, the Geminids had optimal viewing conditions; however, in 2024, the conditions are MUCH different. The Geminids will occur during the Full Cold Moon, which will make them very difficult to view.

See our complete guide to the Geminid meteor shower.

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 anywhere, 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; the 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 the “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 it crosses the stream of meteoroids in Earth’s orbit.
  • 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 between 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 the 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, but 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 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.
  • Spread 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.