When would be the worst possible time for SETI‘s best extraterrestrial signal-hunting telescope to be switched off?
And guess what? Due to lack of funding, right this moment, SETI's Allen Telescope Array (ATA) has been temporarily mothballed.
At a time when NASA's Kepler and other exoplanet-hunting telescopes are detecting hundreds of confirmed and candidate alien worlds orbiting other stars, wouldn't it be nice to point the ATA at some of these worlds - particularly the ones that have an Earth-like, habitable flavor? If our intelligent extraterrestrial neighbors are out there, "listening" to these worlds with radio telescopes would be a good plan.
But only last month, the SETI Institute announced that it would have to suspend the use of the ATA as they'd run out of money.
Through a combination of budget cutbacks by the state of California and the National Science Foundation, to keep the ATA running became an impossible task. SETI isn't a government organization, so bad news aliens, there's no bail-out plan to help us contact you.