Here’s why the Perseids were so incredibly lame

Disappointed in the Perseid meteor shower that peaked Saturday night? You’re not alone, but it’s very easy to explain why.

The Perseid meteor shower happens around this time every year, when the Earth passes through the debris trail of a comet, resulting in spectacular shows of sometimes hundreds of meteors per hour. But this year, it was a pretty pathetic showing for the Perseids, which peaked on Saturday night. Why? For a couple reasons.

For one thing, there was a lot of hype building up to it. A rumor circulating online indicating that this would be the brightest Perseids in recorded human history was totally false. In reality, this was a pretty average Perseid event. So expectations may have factored into the disappointment of the actual show.

The second reason is because we had a bright waxing gibbous moon. While that didn’t wash out all of the meteors, it meant you could only see the very brightest, so it certainly dampened the sheer number of meteors visible in the sky and took an average meteor show down to a below-average one.

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