UPDATE: NASA, SETI scientists to meet 2008’s most dazzling meteor shower on the wing

SETI Institute and NASA scientists in January took their research instruments and their coffee for a 10 hour continuous flight to map what they say will be the earth's most brilliant meteor shower of 2008. Scientists believe the Quadrantid meteor shower could flash over 100 visible meteors per hour at its peak, depending on location. Best viewing times with the highest meteor rates are expected to be in either the late evening of Jan. 3 over Europe and western Asia or the early morning of Jan. 4 over the eastern United States, the researchers said. WHAT'S NEW?: From the tema that went on the flight: "We observed these natural New Year fireworks from a lofty altitude of 47,000 ft. during a peculiar roundtrip from the Bay Area to the Bay Area, via the Arctic Circle. The mission departed during one of the strongest rainstorms to hit the area in two years. When the aircraft emerged from the cloud deck, the sky was brilliantly clear and remained so throughout the mission. The view over the horizon provided a large surface area for spotting Quadrantid meteors, little dimmed by the low atmospheric extinction at altitude."

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