Cutbacks in funding force 'ET-hunting telescopes' to close

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The multi-million dollar American Seti Institute has fallen victim to government cuts.

It has had to shut down a series of telescopes that have been scanning the universe for extra-terrestrial communications.

Dr Seth Shostak is senior astronomer at the institute, and he told BBC Radio 5 live' Tony Livesey: "We don't have the operating funds to keep the telescopes going.

"It's a bit like sending Captain Cook out into the Pacific, but not being able to afford the hardtack and the grog!

"We might go for a very long time without making a very important discovery."

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Tony Livesey broadcasts Monday - Thursday 2230 - 0100 on BBC Radio 5 live.