Scientists with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute switched on the Allen Telescope Array, a field of 42 radio dishes that will listen for signs of alien life. Eventually, a total of 350 such devices will be deployed around the world.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen contributed $25 million to the $50 million project, which just might solidify his status as the coolest space junkie on the planet, since he was also the wallet behind SpaceShipOne.

Scientists say the telescopes could help them learn more about how galaxies evolve, but honestly, don’t we have enough observatories busy with that business? Stay focused on the aliens, guys.—Gregory Mone