The Perseid meteor shower originates from the Swift-Tuttle comet, and is visible now through until August 24, 2016. The show is seen viewed from a northeastern direction in the northern hemisphere.
"Either set your alarm clock for the very early morning or just stay up all night August 11-12 to see the Perseid meteor shower, a cosmic display of shooting stars that will light up the night sky," reads NASA's astronomy alert.
"The Perseids show up every year in August when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet. This year, Earth may be in for a closer encounter than usual with the comet trails that result in meteor shower, setting the stage for a spectacular display."
This year's display is expected to be far more visually rich than in years past, reports Space.com:
That's because the Earth will collide with more material than usual from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which is the source of the Perseids. Jupiter's gravity has tugged the debris stream in such a way that Earth will move closer to the middle of the stream, rather than the edge, NASA officials said in a statement.
In fact, Earth may collide with three or more streams during the shower this year. This could result in double the usual rate of meteors, and a spectacular rate of 200 meteors per hour under perfect conditions, according to the statement.
"Here's something to think about: The meteors you'll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago," Bill Cooke, who leads NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, Alabama, said in the statement. "And they've traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth's atmosphere."
"Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Aug. 11-12" [nasa.gov]