Even casual skywatchers know about the Perseid meteor shower, because it can deliver at least one meteor per minute under pleasant summer skies. But the shower's peak performance is relatively brief, so timing is important.
According to the International Meteor Organization, the shower's 2018 maximum should come between 20hUT on August 12th and 8h UT on the 13th. Fortunately, the midpoint of this range falls during the night of August 12-13 for North America. Moreover, the Moon will be new, so observing conditions are nearly perfect! Start watching on the evening of the 12th as soon as it's gotten dark and the radiant (near the Double Cluster in Perseus) clears the horizon. You might be rewarded with bright firefalls that skim Earth's atmosphere and create long, dramatic streaks in the sky.
These meteors are bits of debris shed by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 130 years. Careful observers first realized that the Perseids are an annual event in the 1830s.