Astronomies of ScaleThe scientists behind the Allen Telescope Array (Microsoft co-founder and alien enthusiast Paul Allen is backing the venture) are fairly confident that by 2025 they will have found definitive proof of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. If they don't, it certainly won't be for lack of trying. They're positioning 350 20-foot dish antennas-mass-produced using off-the-shelf components-at the Hat Creek Observatory in California, and linking them to work in unison. The digital image of the universe they produce will cover an area 17 times larger than the former night-sight champ, the most boringly named antenna array of all time: New Mexico's Very Large Array. With 42 dishes already in operation, the first all-sky surveys were completed this year-and the ATA will check out a million nearby star systems in the next two dozen years. We may soon learn that someone is, in fact, out there.