Those who endure profess not to be discouraged by the Great Silence, as it is called, from out there. They’ve always been in the search for the long run, they say.
“The Great Silence is hardly unexpected,” said Dr. Horowitz, including because only a fraction of a percent of the 200 million stars in the Milky Way have been surveyed. Nobody ever said that detecting that rain of alien radio signals would be easy.
“It might not happen in my lifetime, but it will happen,” Dr. Werthimer said.
“All of the signals detected by SETI researchers so far are made by our own civilization, not another civilization,” Dr. Werthimer grumbled in a series of emails and telephone conversations. Earthlings, he said, might have to build a telescope on the backside of the moon to escape the growing radio pollution on Earth and the interference from constellations of satellites in orbit.
The present time, he said, might be a unique window in which to pursue SETI from Earth.
“One hundred years ago, the sky was clear, but we didn’t know what to do,” he said. “One hundred years from now, there will be no sky left.”