If you're interested in getting into astronomy, watching a meteor shower is a great way to get started. They're predictable and easy to see, and you don't need any expensive equipment. In fact, you're better off without a telescope; just a lawn chair, a blanket and a flask of a hot drink.


We can see occasional meteors on any night of the year, and these meteors are known as 'sporadics'. They can travel in any direction, and are not associated with any particular (known) event. Far more reliable is to look out for meteor showers, which occur at the same time every year. Read on to find out when you can see each meteor shower in 2023, when the peaks are and how many meteors you can expect to see.

Don't worry if there aren't any showers any time soon – you can also check out our full Moon calendar and astronomy for beginners guide.

What is a meteor shower?

A meteor shower is a stream of shooting stars that appears to diverge from one particular area of the sky. This point is known as the 'radiant', and a meteor shower is named for the area of the sky where the meteors appear to originate. For example, the Lyrids seem to come from the constellation of Lyra, and the Leonids from Leo.

As comets travel around the Sun, they leave a trail of debris behind. When these fragments, most of which are smaller than a grain of sand, enter the Earth's atmosphere, we call them meteors.

Meteors travel at incredibly high speeds and almost all of them completely disintegrate on their journey through the atmosphere. What we see is the flash of light they give off as they disintegrate.

Read more about meteors:

When is the next meteor shower in the UK?

The next meteor showers to grace the skies of the UK are the Lyrids and the Eta Aquariids which begin in April. The showers are both expected to peak on 22-23 April and 6 May respectively.

The dates of when you can see each shower, plus the peak and the number you can expect to see per hour, are below.


Visible: 28 December 2022 to 12 January 2023

Peak: 4 January

Rate/hour: 110


Visible: 14-30 April

Peak: 22-23 April

Rate/hour: 18

Eta Aquariids

Visible: 19 April - 28 May

Peak: 6 May

Rate/hour: 50

Alpha Capricornids

Visible: 3 July - 15 August

Peak: 30 July

Rate/hour: 5

Southern Delta Aquariids

Visible: 12 July - 23 August

Peak: 30 July

Rate/hour: 25


Visible: 17 July - 24 August

Peak: 12-13 August

Rate/hour: 100


Visible: 2 October - 7 November

Peak: 21-22 October

Rate/hour: 25


Visible: 6-10 October

Peak: 8-9 October

Rate/hour: 10

Northern Taurids

Visible: 20 October - 10 December

Peak: 12-13 November

Rate/hour: 5


Visible: 6-30 November

Peak: 17-18 November

Rate/hour: 10


Visible: 4-20 December

Peak: 14-15 December

Rate/hour: 150


Visible: 17-26 December

Peak: 22-23 December

Rate/hour: 10

Read more:



Holly SpannerStaff Writer, BBC Science Focus

Holly is the staff writer at BBC Science Focus, and specialises in astronomy. Before joining the team she was a geoenvironmental consultant and holds an MSc in Geoscience (distinction) from UCL.