May Through August 2024 Calendar

2024 meteor showers: When to see shooting stars this year

Of all the celestial wonders that the night sky offers us, “shooting star” sightings feel among the most magical.

To help you experience more everyday enchantment in 2024, we compiled the following list of meteor showers that will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere this year, according to the American Meteor Society. We suggest marking the peak dates on your calendar, or even using them as inspiration for planning a trip to one of Michigan’s dark sky parks.

Commonly called shooting stars, meteors are streaks of light in the sky that are created when meteoroids — fragments of asteroids or comets — come into contact with Earth’s atmosphere. Meteor showers typically happen when Earth passes through a large band of these space fragments, with the shower’s “peak” happening when our planet is expected to encounter the greatest number of them.

In the Northern Hemisphere we experience nearly a dozen meteor showers each year, each with their own peak nights where a viewer might see anywhere from five to 10 meteors per hour on the lower end, to more than 100 meteors per hour.

First, a few tips for viewing meteor showers:

Seek out the darkest skies possible, away from bright urban environments; rural areas and dedicated dark sky parks offer the best viewing. Dress for the weather and choose a safe viewing location under a large expanse of sky. Lie back on a blanket or reclining camp chair, taking in as much sky as possible, and be patient: It takes about 30 minutes for our eyes to adjust to the darkness to see the most meteors.

Of course, you’ll also want to note the weather and moon phase, as these are important factors in how many meteors may be visible in any given year.

Here are the meteor showers in store for us in 2024:

Now-January 16: The Quadrantids. The first meteor shower of the year is also the final one for several months. The Quadrantids peaked Jan. 3-4 this year but there’s still potential for occasional shooting stars and even fireballs until the meteor shower winds down mid-month.

April 15-29: The Lyrids.This springtime meteor shower is considered medium strength, with typically good rates for three nights centered on maximum activity. Lyrid meteors lack persistent trains but can produce fireballs. This year’s peak falls on the night of April 21-22, though a nearly full moon will interfere with viewing.

April 15-May 27: Eta Aquarids: This meteor shower, one of two originating from debris left by the famous Halley’s comet, favors the Southern Hemisphere but sometimes can be seen farther north if you watch low on the horizon. According to the AMS, this shower could be extra strong this year due to low interference from moonlight, plus interactions of the shower’s particles with the planet Jupiter. Peak night: May 4-5.

July 18-Aug. 21: Southern Delta Aquariids. Another meteor shower that favors the Southern Hemisphere; Northern viewers’ best bet is to look low along the southern horizon. This shower can produce good rates for a week centered on the night of maximum, which falls this year on Jul 29-30.

July 7-Aug. 15: Alpha Capricornids. While considered a relatively weak meteor shower, with just five or fewer meteors per hour, this shower is noteworthy for its bright fireballs. Peak night: July 30-31.

July 14-Sept. 1: Perseids. Summer’s most well-known meteor shower is beloved for its bright meteors that light up the sky on warm August nights, with 50 to 75 meteors per hour possible under clear, dark skies. Peak night: Aug. 11-12.

Sept. 26-Nov. 22: Orionids. The Orionids meteor shower is typically medium strength, with 10-20 meteors per hour at maximum. But in special years this meteor shower can produce a spectacle on par with the Perseids. Unfortunately moonlight will reduce views this year during the peak night, Oct. 20-21.

Sept. 23-Dec. 8: Taurids. The Taurids are actually comprised of two long-running meteor showers: The Southern Taurids and the slightly later Northern Taurids, which overlap by more than a month. Though their meteor rates are generally low, the Taurids are known for producing brilliant fireballs, which make these meteor showers worth watching. Peak nights: Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 11-12.

Nov. 3-Dec. 2: Leonids. The holiday season kicks off with the storied Leonids, known for history-making meteor storms that can reach hourly meteor rates into the thousands. Even during more typical years of 15 meteors per hour at peak, these bright, swift meteors are fun to spot. Moonlight will sadly spoil the best viewing during this year’s maximum activity. Peak night: Nov. 17-18.

Nov. 19 to Dec. 24: Geminids. The Geminids meteor shower is known by seasoned stargazers for being one of the year’s strongest displays, delivering beautiful meteors at rates of up to 120 per hour under optimal viewing conditions. This year a full moon will significantly reduce the number of visible meteors, but the AMS says you can still see meteors by facing the sky with the moon at your back. Peak night: Dec. 13-14.

Dec. 13-Dec. 24: Ursids. The often-overlooked Ursids can add a little extra sparkle to the holidays, as this meteor shower typically peaks very close to the winter solstice and Christmas. Expect modest rates of 5-10 meteors per hour. Peak night: Dec. 21-22.

May To August  Calendar Templates - Four Months
May To August Calendar Templates – Four Months
May to August  Printable Calendar
May to August Printable Calendar