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Meteor Showers for 2018

Color code


This table is intended as an aid to meteor watchers in southern California. Meteors are best observed from dark wilderness locations, far from city lights. The glow from light-pollution in most cities and suburbs allows only a few bright meteors to be seen. The brightness of the Moon must also be taken into account, as it can have a large effect on the number of meteors that will be visible. Some meteor showers have a very brief peak, lasting only a few hours, and sometimes the peak occurs at a time when the shower is not visible from southern California. These factors have been taken into account on the table below, and each meteor shower is tagged with a color code; green means excellent conditions, orange indicates the presence of some moonlight or marginal predictions, and red means most of the meteors will be blocked by moonlight or some other time factor. The estimates of numbers of meteors per hour are based on viewing from a dark sky location in southern California.

The best way to watch a meteor shower is to travel to a wilderness area or campground that has a dark sky. It’s best to choose a night when the Moon is not visible during the shower. Most meteor showers are strongest after midnight and until dawn. Dress warmly and lie back on a deck chair or lounge, so you are looking up at the sky. Don’t look at bright lights like flashlights or cell phone displays which can desensitize your eyes for ten minutes or more.

Because Griffith Observatory is surrounded by urban light glow, Griffith Park and the Observatory are not recommended as meteor shower observing locations, and are not open after normal closing time (10:00 p.m.).

image of the moonPeak Night
January 2-3


Active: December 28 – January 12

The brief maximum of the Quadrantid shower happens during daytime over the U.S. The observation of the few remaining meteors that appear at night on the west coast will be hampered by bright moonlight.

Viewing conditions are Poor.

image of the moonPeak Night
April 21-22


Active: April 16 – April 26

Observing conditions for Lyrid meteors are best after moonset on the 22nd at 1:34 a.m., PDT. From a dark sky, the number of meteors should reach a maximum of 18 or more per hour by dawn.

Viewing conditions are Good.

image of the moonPeak Nights
May 5-6

Eta Aquariids

Active: April 19 – May 28

Bright moonlight will interfere throughout the 90 minutes before dawn (3:00 a.m.-4:30 a.m.) during which the Eta Aquariid meteors can be observed. Under ideal, dark conditions, the shower should produce about 20 meteors per hour.

Viewing conditions are Poor.

image of the moonPeak Night
July 28-29

South Delta Aquariids

Active: July 21 - August 23

The South Delta Aquariid meteors are nearly impossible to observe this year due to the light of the full moon.

Viewing conditions are Poor.

image of the moonPeak Night
August 12-13


Active: July 17 – August 24

The moon will be absent during the time interval that the Perseid shower can be observed (from 9:00 p.m. until 4:40 a.m., the start of dawn). Conditions are ideal, therefore, for seeing meteors at a rate of about 70 per hour from dark sky locations.

Viewing conditions are Good.

image of the moonPeak Night
October 8-9


Active: October 6-10

Draconid meteors are best seen when darkness falls, and, as their radiant nears the horizon, they decrease in numbers until 1:30 a.m. In spite of the lack of interfering moonlight this year, no more than about 10 meteors per hour are expected. Even this activity may decrease quickly on the 8th after darkness falls on the west coast.

Viewing conditions are Good.

image of the moonPeak Night
October 20-21


Active: October 2 - November 7

Conditions for viewing this shower are best on the 22nd between moonset, at 4:00 a.m., and dawn, at 5:15 a.m. Around 20 meteors per hour might be seen from dark sky locations.

Viewing conditions are Fair.

image of the moonPeak Night
November 16-17


Active: November 6-30

The shower can be observed between moonset, at 12:47 a.m., and dawn, at 5:00 a.m. No more than about 5 meteors per hour are expected even from dark sky locations this year.

Viewing conditions are Good.

image of the moonPeak Night
December 13-14


Active: December 4-17

This year the meteors are best between moonset, at 10:37 p.m., and dawn, at 5:20 a.m. Up to 120 meteors per hour may be seen from dark sky locations. Because of their brilliance and relatively slow velocity, the Geminids are one of the few meteor showers worth watching despite their reduced numbers, in the presence of suburban light pollution.

Viewing conditions are Good.