The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is set to peak on August 12th and 13th. The best peak time will be late Sunday night (after 11 pm) into early Monday morning. However, you will be able to see some Perseids for several nights before and after the peak time.
The great thing about this year's show is that the moon will be in its new phase, which will cut out all of the lunar light. Under a super dark sky, you might be able to see one meteor per minute. The best viewing conditions are always away from major city lights. No special equipment is needed to view the show.
Meteors are caused by dusty particles hitting the top of Earth's atmosphere, which is about 80 miles up. Each Perseid particle races at about 37 miles per second!
These bits and pieces were shed long ago by Comet Swift-Tuttle and are distributed all along the comet's 133 year long orbit around the Sun. Earth passes through this area of debris every year in mid-August.