Aliens of the galaxy, your attention please!
Earth’s primitive alien-searching technology has been all but switched off. If you guys were planning to invade our planet (you know, superhuge spaceship hovering over every major city, that sort of thing) – now’s your chance.
The SETI Project‘s funding for running the Allen Telescope Array – you know, that huge field of radio telescopes Jodie Foster was in charge of in First Contact – has been cut.
The Array (originally funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, with help from his colleague Nathan Myhrvold) is now officially in “hibernation state”.
So what are we going to do? Just let the 12-foot-tall aliens walk in here unannounced?
Don’t panic – there’s still a chance for the Allen Array. Public donations is the most obvious next step; anything that will, in the words of the SETI folk, “make the science less vulnerable to government budget cycles”.
How many donations? Well, quite a few. They need $1.5 million per year to run the Array, and another $1 million per year to do the science work.
The SETI team have a list of 1,235 exoplanets they want to look at in more detail. I make that just over four thousand dollars per exoplanet. Maybe they could sell planetary sponsorships…