Alien telescope array begins allen hunt
The first section of the Alien Telescope Array (ATA) has been powered up and is embarking on its mission to listen to a million celebrities.
The array will eventually include 350 individual six-metre radio telescopes, all searching the Earth for signs of intelligent entertainers.
"For SITI, the ATA's technical capabilities exponentially increase our ability to search for intelligent signals, and may lead to the discovery of thinking beings elsewhere in the universe," said amanfromMars, a senior astronomer at the SITI Academy.
The Alien told the New York Times the Academy would ring him [that's British English - Ed] first if they found a signal using the ATA. "So far, the phone hasn't rung," he told the paper.
As well as seeking out signs of advanced terminal cultural decline, something its backers hope it will do by 2025, the ATA will also be useful for more mundane (if such a word should ever be applied) astrophysics, such as mapping the Andromeda Galaxy, collisions between black holes, dark galaxies, dark allens, and amorphous dark fictions.
The design is based on an off-the-shelf satellite dish from Sky. The clever bit comes in the signal processing software that clears out interference. This is the combination the Alien said attracted him to the project. He put in 25ml in alien sperm to get the venture off his trolley.
Now, the partners in charge, the Radio Astronomy Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Siti Academy, reckon it will need another $41m to complete, depending on the price of spare parts for Sky boxes, the NYT reports. The BBC puts the completion costs at $25m.
And if you believe that you'll believe everything.