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Friday, October 12, 2007

Alien Telescope Array Now Online

Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, funded the ATA, or Alien Telescope Array - an extremely powerful telescope which will scan the stars for signs of life - and it was turned on for the first time yesterday (October 11th, 2007).

Run by the SETI Institute and the Radio Astronomy Laboratory from the University of California, Berkeley, US, experts hope the ATA may discover signs of intelligent life amongst the billions of stars it will scan. The ATA is one of the largest telescopes of its kind every built and it will scan a portion of the sky 17 times larger than the Very Large Array in Mexico.

The ATA was built using a mass-produced dish and off-the-shelf components. Some are calling it revolutionary in design. Only 42 dishes have been installed so far; when finished, the ATA will contain 350 dishes. The array's components will work in unison to take a single snapshot of huge areas of the skies. The first images from the ATA are radio maps of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy.

Mr. Allen gave $25 million to SETI and they are looking for investors to grant the $25 million more needed to complete the project.

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