There is something about bright lights and loud noises that attract the child in all of us. And when they come from the heavens, they're fodder for even our adult selves.
Take meteor showers, for example.
Over the weekend, the Lyrids made their annual spin through the local skies, igniting the usual flashes, as they've done for some 2,600 years. This time, they also seemed to have caused an explosive boom heard in some parts of California and Nevada.
This year's show was a bit more spectacular than in the past, because the moon was in a new phase -- meaning the sky was darker than usual, creating a nice, rich background that showcased the celestial sparks. The peak of fun was over the weekend, but there's likely to be some more activity over the next few days.
The lights will be sporadic and well below the spectacle level of the weekend, but keep this general meteor-watching principle in mind: Visibility varies with location, brightness of other astronomical phenomena, and the level of pollution from light sources (such as human activity in cities).