From January’s Quadrantids to December’s Geminids, meteor showers provide a wonderful opportunity to lay back and be in awe of the universe. While most are best viewed on moonless nights from about midnight until the first glimmer of dawn, meteors often flash across the sky at unexpected times. They are bits of interplanetary debris slamming into Earth’s upper atmosphere.

But even the smallest grains can produce huge streaks of light. And a stream of debris can create streaks by the minute. Sky & Telescope provides the latest tips and tricks for watching the best meteor showers, from being adequately prepared with the right gear (i.e. mosquito repellent or a sleeping bag) to taking incredible images of meteors streaking across the sky.

Colorful Perseid fireball

The Best Meteor Showers in 2018

More than a dozen times each year, we experience a pulse of "shooting stars" from an annual meteor shower. Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2018 will be the Perseids in mid-August and the Geminids in mid-December.

Quadrantid meteor

History of the Quadrantid Meteors

Read about the history and source of the Quadrantid meteor stream, which provides one of the most intense annual meteor displays. Its brief, sharp maximum lasts only a few hours in early January.