12 Meteor Showers To Stay Up Late For In (2023)

Meteor Showers in the night sky.

Check out this list of 12 meteor showers to stay up for in 2023. The year is setting up to be a great one to get outside and behold some celestial fireworks. Six are in darker skies with the moon phase at less than 50% full.

Be sure to read our meteor showers article if you are unfamiliar with terms such as “radiant point” or how to best prepare and view these wondrous events.

It’s also important to know how long after sunset is dark enough to see the showers. Learn more about the time it takes to become dark after sunset.

If you have a particular meteor shower of interest, use the “Article Contents” table above, which will take you directly to any of the showers on this list.

Lyrids | April Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (April 22-23)

Quick Points

  • Active | April 15, 2023 to April 29, 2023
  • Velocity | 29 miles/sec (46.8km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Lyra
  • Radiant: 18:10 +33.3º
  • Peak Activity on April 22-23, 2023
  • Moon will be 9% Full
In this night sky illustration, the star Vega is pointed out as the area of focus for the Lyrids meteor shower radiant within the constellation Lyra.
The radiant of Lyrids will appear from the star Vega.

About the Meteor Shower

This year, beginning April 15, 2023, the Lyrid meteor showers will start around 10:30 pm local time each night through April 29, 2023. Peak activity will be on the nights of April 22-23, 2023. Dark skies will favor observers, with only the faint light of a waxing crescent moon.

Lyrids is one of the oldest known meteor showers, first documented in China in 687 BC. Its meteors originate from the debris trail of Comet Thatcher, first discovered in 1861 by amateur astronomer A.E Thatcher.

Since it takes Comet Thatcher approximately 415 years to orbit the Sun, it will not be seen again from here on Earth until 2,276 AD.

Lyrids is a medium-strength shower averaging about 15-20 meteors an hour. It is known to produce a good mix of fireballs and frequent glowing dust trains.

Occasionally, Lyrids will surprise viewers with what is referred to as an “outburst“. This rare event produces an average of 100 meteor sightings in an hour. The last documented outburst event here in the US occurred in 1982. However, some speculate these events run in 30 to 60-year cycles, as planetary orbits influence the comet’s debris trail. So we may be due any year to witness this event again.

The showers can be seen in both hemispheres but are best viewed in the northern hemisphere, where its radiant Lyra is high in the sky. Meteors will begin to appear after evening twilight and last throughout the night until dawn.

Look for the star Vega in the constellation Lyra. Vega is a vivid blue-white star, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. A little fun fact; Vega was the origin of the alien radio transmission in Carl Sagan’s movie ‘Contact‘. It’s about three times the width of our Sun and resides 25 Light years away from Earth.

Once you locate Vega within Lyra, lie back with your feet pointed East looking out from the Lyrid’s radiant point. This will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Eta Aquariids | April & May Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (May 5-6)

Quick Points

  • Active | April 15, 2023 to May 27, 2023
  • Velocity | 40.7 miles/sec (65.5km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Aquarius
  • Radiant: 22:30 -1º
  • Peak Activity on May 5-6, 2023
  • Moon will be 100% Full
In this night sky illustration, the star Eta Aquarii is pointed out as the area of focus when searching for the Eta Aquariids meteor shower radiant within the constellation Aquarius.
Watch for the radiant point from the “Water Jug” of Aquarius.

About the Meteor Shower

The meteors of Eta Aquariids are known for their speed and glowing trains. Traveling at 148,000/mph(66km/s), they provide a fantastic show to watch as they begin to appear on April 15, peaking on May 5-6 and ending on May 27, 2023.

Because of the position of Eta Aquariid’s radiant in the sky, it is best viewed from the southern hemisphere but can be seen from both hemispheres. The showers will produce anywhere from 10 to 30 meteors an hour, with a higher amount being the norm during nights of peak activity. Unfortunately, this year the Moon is in full phase preventing optimal skies.

The Eta Aquariids meteors originate from the debris trail of a well-known comet, if not the most popular and most written about in world history, Halley’s Comet.

Halley, scientifically known as 1p/Halley, was only given its name once discovered and believed to be a comet in 1705, but humans have been experiencing it for millennia. Scientists estimate Halley has been making its 76-year trip around the Sun for more than 200,000 years.

It finally took astronomer Edmond Halley to figure out this comet was one and the same related to many written accounts made throughout the history of the world. He predicted it would return in 1758, and though he did not live to witness it, he was correct; Halley returned right on time as Edmond had calculated.

Halley has been speculated to have been documented by the Greeks in 466 BC and well documented by the Chinese Han Dynasty in 240 BC. It was seen during the Norman Conquest and depicted in a tapestry of the battle of Hastings in 1066.

Part of the lore of Famed author Mark Twain was being born and dying on years while Halley’s Comet was in the sky, passing Earth. It made its most recent flyby of Earth in 1986 and will make its next appearance in 2061.

Today’s meteors are from debris separated from Halley hundreds of years ago. Halley’s current orbit does not cross Earth’s orbit, as noted by Robert Lunsford with the American Meteor Society.

The constellation Aquarius is where observers should look in the sky while searching for the Eta Aquariids showers. First, find the brightest star in the constellation, Eta Aquarii. It will be in the lower left portion, referred to as the “Water Jug”. The star resides 168 light years away from Earth. It is 103 times more luminous and almost Three (3x) times the mass and radius of our Sun.

Once you have located the radiant point, sit back, and look up facing outward from where the Eta Aquariids will appear. It will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Southern Delta Aquariids | July – Aug. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (July 30-31)

Quick Points

  • Active | July 18, 2023 to Aug. 21, 2023
  • Velocity | 25 miles/sec (40km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Aquarius
  • Radiant: 22:42 -16.3º
  • Peak Activity on July 30-31, 2023
  • Moon will be 95% Full
In this night sky illustration, the star Delta Aquarii is pointed out as the area of focus when searching for the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower radiant within the constellation Aquarius.
The radiant point of the Southern Delta Aquariids will appear from the star Skat.

About the Meteor Shower

Skywatchers will see The Southern Delta Aquariids arrival begin on July 18, 2023, and end on August 21, 2023. Peak nights of activity will be on July 30-31, 2023.

The showers are best viewed in the southern tropics or southern regions of the northern hemisphere. Expect 15-20 meteors per hour on peak nights in dark locations. The Moon will be at 95% illumination, overpowering the faint glow of smaller meteors, making viewing less optimal.

The meteors of the Southern Delta Aquariids are believed to originate from the debris trail of Comet 96P/Machholz, discovered by amateur astronomer Donald Machholz in 1986. According to Nasa, the comet is approximately 4 miles wide and has a relatively short 5.24-year orbit around the Sun.

When viewing, search for the constellation Aquarius and find its 3rd brightest star Delta Aquarii also referred to by its Greek name Skat. It will be in the lower middle of Aquarius. Reference the illustration provided.

Once you have located the radiant point, we recommend lying back, stretching out on the ground, looking up, and facing outward from where the meteors will appear. It will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

A meteor shower just before dawn. Twilight is breaking in the distant horizon.
Some meteor showers can be very active just before morning twilight as the Earth is forward facing moving into the debris trail in space.

Alpha Capricornids | July – Aug. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (July 30-31)

Quick Points

  • Active | July 7, 2023 to Aug. 15, 2023
  • Velocity | 14 miles/sec (22km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Capricorn
  • Radiant: 20:26 -9.12º
  • Peak Activity on July 30-31, 2023
  • Moon will be 95% Full
In this night sky illustration, the star Alpha Capricornii is pointed out as the area of focus when searching for the Alpha Capricornids meteor shower radiant within the constellation Capricornus.
Look for the radiant point of Alpha Capricornids just above the double star Alpha Capricornii.

About the Meteor Shower

The Alpha Capricornids will take the stage on July 7, 2023, and continue through August 15, 2023. Peak nights will be on July 30-31,2023.

Capricornids will be seen equally as well in both hemispheres. They are slower and less frequent meteors, 5-9 per hour but tend to be brighter than most other showers. The moon will be 95% illuminated which is not optimal for viewing.

Miklos Konkoly-Thege, a Hungarian astronomer, in 1871 discovered the shower. Originally thought to be the result of multiple parent sources, Peter Jenniskens and Jeremie Vaulbailon, astronomers who have worked with the SETI Institute, discovered upon its return in 2005 that the shower’s origin comes from an Asteroid now known as 169P/NEAT.

According to Jenniskens and Vaulbailon, the shower was created nearly 5000 years ago due to the asteroid disintegrating, losing half of its body mass into dust particles.

The Earth continually moves further into this debris field which is anticipated to become a significant annual meteor shower in 200 years. The peak is expected to begin 2220 AD thru 2420 AD.

The radiant is in the constellation Capricorn, close to the optical double star Alpha Capricornii. It is a binary star system, two stars in very close proximity when viewed from Earth but can be differentiated with the naked eye.

The stars reside approximately 860 light years from our solar system. They can be seen in the top right corner of the constellation, which is noted in the illustration provided.

Once you have located the radiant point, lie back to see the full scope of the sky, stretching out on the ground or upon a folding chair and facing outward from where the meteors will appear. It will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Perseids | July – Sept. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (August 12-13)

Quick Points

  • Active | July 14, 2023 to Sept. 1, 2023
  • Velocity | 37 miles/sec (59km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Perseus
  • Radiant: 03:13 +58º
  • Peak Activity on August 12-13, 2023
  • Moon will be 10% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Perseid radiant is pointed out near the constellation Perseus as an area of focus while searching for the Perseids meteor shower.
The Perseids meteor shower radiant near the constellation Perseus.

About the Meteor Shower

The Perseids, one of the most well-known showers of the year, have been observed and referenced by humans for millennia. Known since Roman times as the “tears of St. Lawrence,” and inspiring both ancient and present pop culture with references in lyrics, music, novels, and art.

It’s the right mixture of warm summer nights with 50 to 75 high-speed meteors per hour, enchanting skywatchers as they react with quiet “ooohs” and “aahs”.

It begins July 14, 2023, and ends September 1, 2023. Peak activity will be on the nights of August 12-13, 2023. This year the Moon will only be at 10% illumination, which is a good setup for optimal viewing.

The meteors’ origins come from the debris trail of the Comet Swift Tuttle.
It was discovered by two astronomers, Lewis Swift, and Horace Tuttle, in 1862 and has a periodic orbit of 133 years, with its last inner system passing of Earth in 1992.

Its next appearance will be again in 2125. Bill Cooke of Nasa said, “The Perseids will be around for the next few centuries”. (insert Bill Cooke link) So thankfully, this experience isn’t ending any time soon.

The radiant point will be high in the sky in the constellation Perseus. Meteors will begin to appear around 10 pm local time while improving as the night gets later into the pre-dawn hours.

Once you have located the radiant point Perseus, lie back to see the full scope of the sky, stretching out on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair. Face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Orionids | Sept. – Nov. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (October 20-21)

Quick Points

  • Active | Sept. 26, 2023 to Nov. 22, 2023
  • Velocity | 41 miles/sec (66km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Orion
  • Radiant: 06:21 +15.6º
  • Peak Activity on October 20-21, 2023
  • Moon will be 37% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Orionids' radiant is pointed out near the constellation Orion as an area of focus while searching for the Orionids meteor shower.
The Orionids meteor shower radiant point near the star Betelgeuse.

About the Meteor Shower

The Orionids will first appear this year on September 26, 2023, until November 22, 2023. Peak activity will be on the nights of October 20-21, 2023. The Moon phase will be at 37% illumination.

Meteors can be seen after evening twilight, but the best viewing begins after midnight until dawn. It is at this time we are on the forward-facing side of Earth, moving into the debris field left behind by Halley’s Comet.

As we are traveling toward the meteors, they will appear to move faster and brighter with trails of illumination that can last from seconds to minutes. Earth is moving at 18.5 miles (29.8km) per second as it runs head-on into these meteors, some traveling in the opposite direction 41 miles (66km) per second, increasing the effect of speed and impact.

You can expect to see approximately 10 meteors an hour, double that average on peak nights. Most will burn out in a few of seconds, but there will be the occasional fireball.

Nasa explains, when searching the skies for Orionids, first look to the constellation Orion, the hunter. This famous constellation is known for Orion’s belt, comprising of the 3 stars Alnilam, Mintaka, and Alnitak.

These stars reside 1200 to 2000 light-years away from Earth and quite a distance from each other but appear in the sky as a linear line, an illusion as if in close proximity.

Next, within Orion, find the brightest star, Betelgeuse. Its location can be seen in the illustration provided. The Orionids’ radiant will be just above the star Betelgeuse.

Once you have located the radiant point of Orionids, lie back to see the full scope of the sky, stretching out on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair. Face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

A mixture of bright and faint meteors can be seen in the dark night skies above a treeline in the forest.
Dark skies allow the viewer to see not only the bright meteors but the smaller, fainter ones, as seen in this picture. Look for the faint meteors in the upper right portion of this photograph.

Southern Taurids | Sept. – Nov. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (November 4-5)

Quick Points

  • Active | Sept. 28, 2023 to Dec. 2, 2023
  • Velocity | 17.2 miles/sec (27.7km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Taurus
  • Radiant: 03:35 +14.4º
  • Peak Activity on Nov. 4-5, 2023
  • Moon will be 54% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Southern Taurids' radiant is pointed out near the constellation Taurus as an area of focus while searching for the Southern Taurids meteor shower.
The Southern Taurids meteor shower radiant point.

About the Meteor Shower

The Southern Taurids are the first of the Taurids, beginning on September 28, 2023, and ending on December 2, 2023.

They are with us longer than most annual showers remaining for over two months. Although not known for many meteors, 5 per hour, you can expect a higher percentage of fireballs. Bill Cooke from Nasa believes the chances of seeing a fireball are quite high during the Taurids.

Peak activity will be on the nights of November 4-5, 2023. The illumination of the Moon will be at 54%.

The origins of the meteors come from the debris of Comet Encke. The debris field is quite large. Astronomers believe it to be the result of a much larger comet that broke apart 20,000 years ago, which accounts for the longer period of time it takes Earth to make its way through while experiencing the Taurids.

It was first discovered by astronomers Mechain and Charles Messier in 1786 and is the 2nd comet to be classified as “periodic”. At 3.3 years, it has the shortest orbit around the Sun of all the major comets in our solar system.

When trying to locate where the showers will appear in the sky, look for the radiant near the constellation Taurus. It will be close to the lower portion of the constellation, as shown in the illustration provided.

Once you have located the radiant point of Southern Taurids, stretch out on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair and look into the sky. Face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer. Allow 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Northern Taurids | Oct. – Dec. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (November 11-12)

Quick Points

  • Active | Oct. 13, 2023 to Dec. 2, 2023
  • Velocity | 18 miles/sec (30km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Taurus
  • Radiant: 03:55 +22.8º
  • Peak Activity on Nov. 11-12, 2023
  • Moon will be 2% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Northern Taurids' radiant is pointed out near the constellation Taurus as an area of focus while searching for the Northern Taurids meteor shower.
Also shown is the star cluster Pleiades, which can also be used as a reference.
The Northern Taurids meteor shower radiant point located above constellation Taurus near The Pleiades.

About the Meteor Shower

The Northern Taurids appear on October 13, 2023, and end on December 2, 2023. The skies will be optimal for viewing, with only 2% of the Moon illuminated. Peak activity will be on the nights of November 11-12, 2023.

Expect the Taurid meteors to produce about 5 meteors an hour (10 during peak activity) at the slow-moving rate of 18 miles(30km)/sec. However, they do tend to produce some good fireballs, especially as the Northern and Southern Taurids overlap.

The origin of the Northern Taurids is an asteroid, approximately 1km in diameter, named 2004 TG10. It is believed this asteroid and the Comet Encke (responsible for the Southern Taurids) both evolved from a parent, much larger comet, which broke apart approximately 20,000 years ago. This larger comet created many larger objects, which are now referred to as the Encke Complex.

Both the Northern and Southern Taurids are believed to have the possibility of producing fireballs and occasionally larger objects, remnants from the larger disintegrated comet.

The best times for viewing will be after midnight into the pre-dawn hours when the constellation Taurus will be high in the sky. The radiant will be located just between The Pleiades and Taurus, as shown in the illustration provided.

Once you have located the radiant point of Northern Taurids, lie back on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair and look into the sky. Face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer. Allow 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Leonids | Nov. – Dec. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (November 17-18)

Quick Points

  • Active | Nov 3, 2023 to Dec. 2, 2023
  • Velocity | 43.5 miles/sec (70km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Leo
  • Radiant: 10:17 +21.6º
  • Peak Activity on Nov. 17-18, 2023
  • Moon will be 23% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Leonids' radiant is pointed out near the constellation Leo as an area of focus while searching for the Leonids meteor shower.
The Leonids meteor shower radiant point located near the constellation Leo.

About the Meteor Shower

This year Leonids will begin to appear after dark on November 3, 2023, for nearly a month ending December 2, 2023. Peak nights will be on November 17-18, 2023.

The Leonids are known to produce bright meteors with a higher percentage of illuminating trains. Also, a particular type of meteor often seen in the evenings referred to as an earthgrazer. These are rare but memorable if you’re lucky enough to spot one streaking low on the horizon.

Like most of the annual showers, the best time for viewing is after midnight. But the Leonids tend to outperform in the last few hours before dawn as their radiant point, in the constellation Leo, is high in the sky.

The Meteors of Leonids originate from debris field of the Comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle, which has an orbital period of 33 years. It had been observed previously in history but only recognized as a periodic comet once it was discovered independently by two astronomers, Wilhelm Tempel in December 1865 and Horace Tuttle in January 1866.

When looking for the Leonids in the night sky, first search for the constellation Leo and locate its radiant point within the sickle formation of the constellation. Refer to the illustration provided as a visual.

Once you have located the radiant point of the Leonids, stretch out on a blanket, folding chair, or sleeping bag and allow your eyes to adjust to the dark sky. Next, face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

A meteor flying low along across the Earth's horizon.
A meteor flying low along across the Earth’s horizon.

Geminids | Nov. – Dec. Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (Dec 13-14)

Quick Points

  • Active | Nov 19, 2023 to Dec. 24, 2023
  • Velocity | 21 miles/sec (34km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Gemini
  • Radiant: 07:24 +32.3º
  • Peak Activity on Dec. 13-14, 2023
  • Moon will be 1% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Stars Castor and Pollux are pointed out as an area of focus while searching for Geminids' meteor shower radiant near the constellation Gemini.
The Geminids meteor shower radiant point is located just above the star Castor.

About the Meteor Shower

The Geminids are one of two annual showers which do not originate from a comet. Instead, they are from the debris trail of an asteroid, believed to be approximately 3.6 miles wide, named 3200 Phaethon. They will appear on the evening of November 19, 2023, and make their curtain call on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023. Peak activity is expected on December 13-14, 2023.

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon has a 1.4-year orbit around the Sun. According to Nasa, it may be a “dead comet” or a new object under discussion in the scientific community called a “rock comet”. It does not develop a cometary tail as it approaches the Sun; its particles are denser than cometary flakes. Its characteristics are unusual compared to other asteroids and comets. After its discovery in 1983, astronomer Fred Whipple is credited with associating it as the parent source of the Geminids.

The Moon will be at 1% illumination providing optimal skies to see maximum meteors. In the northern hemisphere, Gemini will be high in the sky around 10:00 pm local time but later in the night for the southern half. It should be a strong performance as Geminids are known for their intense and bright colors.

When looking for the Geminids, search for the constellation Gemini and locate the star within Gemini, named Castor. It will be near its brother star Pollux and the fainter of the two. The meteors will appear from the radiant point just above Castor. You can reference this position in the illustration provided.

Once you have located the radiant point of the Geminids, lie straight back on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair and allow your eyes to adjust to the night sky. Next, face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer. After 30 minutes, your eyes will acclimate to the darkness and see more clearly.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Ursids | December Meteor Shower 2023

Peak Nights (Dec 21-22)

Quick Points

  • Active | Dec. 13, 2023 to Dec. 24, 2023
  • Velocity | 20.5 miles/sec (33km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Ursa Minor
  • Radiant: 14:36 +75.3º
  • Peak Activity on Dec. 21-22, 2023
  • Moon will be 74% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Ursids' radiant is pointed out near the constellation Ursa Minor as an area of focus while searching for the Ursids' meteor shower.
The Ursids meteor shower radiant point is shown above the constellation Ursa Minor or The Little Dipper.

About the Meteor Shower

The Ursids begin on December 13, 2023, and finish on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023. Peak activity will be on the nights of December 21-22, 2023. The Moon will be at 74% illumination, making seeing the smaller, fainter meteors a bit more challenging.

Since the Ursids are so close to the active Geminids and the holiday season, they tend to get less attention. But take notice, as there have been years when the Ursids have had occasional outbursts of 25 or more meteors an hour. So they are one to watch.

According to Nasa, the meteors’ origin comes from comet 8P/Tuttle, discovered by astronomer Horace Tuttle in 1858. It has a diameter of 2.8 miles(4.5km) and spends 13.6 years completing one orbit around the Sun.

A little side fact regarding the portion of the comet’s title “8P”. It means the comet was the eighth to be classified as a periodic comet. This classification is technically defined as a comet with an orbit of fewer than 200 years. For example, Halley’s comet was the first comet to be given this classification and is called comet 1P/Halley. Names are determined by guidelines set by the International Astronomical Union.

Because the Radiant point does not clear the horizon in the southern hemisphere until early morning twilight, the Ursids is a northern hemisphere event only.

When searching for the Ursids in the night sky, find the constellation Ursa Minor, also famously known as the Little Dipper. As shown in the illustration provided, the radiant will be just above the cup portion of the constellation.

Once you have located the radiant point of the Ursids, stretch out on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair, looking up into the sky. Next, face outward from where the meteors will appear, as it will help the perspective of the tails appear longer. After 30 minutes, your eyes will acclimate to the darkness and see more clearly.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Quadrantids | Dec. 26, 2023 – Jan. 16, 2024 Meteor Shower

Peak Nights (Jan. 3-4, 2024)

Quick Points

  • Active | Dec. 26, 2023 to Jan. 16, 2024
  • Velocity | 25 miles/sec (40.2km/sec)
  • Where to Look | Constellation Bootes
  • Radiant: 15:20 +49.7º
  • Peak Activity on Jan. 3-4, 2024
  • Moon will be 51% Full
In this night sky illustration, the Quadrantids' radiant is pointed out near the constellation Bootes as an area of focus while searching for the Quadrantids' meteor shower.
The Quadrantids meteor shower radiant point is located near the constellation Bootes.

About the Meteor Shower

The Quadrantids will arrive before the year ends on December 26, 2023, taking us into 2024 while finishing on January 16, 2024. Peak activity nights will be on January 3-4, 2024. Its pinnacle is a short window of activity, approximately six hours. The Moon will be at 51% illumination.

The Quandrantids and Geminids are the only two major annual showers whose source is not that of a periodic comet. Instead, the origin of its meteors comes from the asteroid 2003 EH1 which takes 5.52 years to orbit the Sun.

This asteroid was identified as the Quadrantids’ parent body by Dutch/American astronomer Peter Jenniskens in 2003. In an article written by Robert Lunsford for the American Meteor Society, he noted 2003 EH1 could be a “dead comet” or a new kind of object still being discussed by astronomers called a rock comet.

Expect good activity as the Quadrantids can produce an hourly rate of 25 meteors/hour with up to 100/hour on peak nights with optimal skies. In addition, due to its asteroid source, it is known for producing fireballs, which are not typical during most annual showers. Many miss these substantial showers because of the cold January weather and it not being well observed from the tropics due to the celestial latitude of the radiant.

When searching the night sky for the Quadrantids, look to the northern edge of the constellation Bootes. From here, the radiant will also appear close to the Big Dipper. See the illustration provided as a reference to locate the radiant.

Once you have located the radiant point of the Quadrantids, lie back on a sleeping bag, blanket, or folding chair, and look up into the sky. Face outward from where the meteors will appear, as this will help the perspective of the meteors’ tails appear longer. After 30 minutes, your eyes will acclimate to the darkness, and you will see more clearly.

Check out more of our Observation tips and recommendations.

Enjoy the show!

Conclusion

There are many opportunities to get out and experience these spectacular events and reflect by ourselves or share with friends and family. Either way, I hope this helps you plan and set aside time to enjoy one of these celestial shows in 2023.

***Predicted dates and peak times for 2023 meteor showers are from the American Meteor Society. Note that peak times are estimates and may vary.

A Cityastronomy logo of a cityscape under a starry night with the Cityastronomy name worded across the circular picture.
Written by Darin Anthony

Astronomy has peaked my curiosity and imagination from an early age. I am always thrilled to read about the latest galactic discovery or planning my next celestial observation. More about me [..]

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