The Drake Equation – We Are Not Alone

The Drake Equation was provided by Frank Drake in 1961 and it was created as a tool to “estimate the number of technological civilizations that may exist in our galaxy” (source). After all, if there is intelligent life out there, whoever or whatever they may be – they should at least have the ability to communicate wirelessly; to harness things like radio waves right?

Some may argue and say that the equation is impractical, and others might say the equation is remarkable. Whatever the case may be, one of the primary functions of this equation is to invoke curiosity and dialogue about the universe and our place within it. Without further ado, The Drake Equation as defined and broken down by

N = R * fp * ne * fl * fi * fc * L


N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.

R* = The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.

fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.

ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.

fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.

fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.

fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.

L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

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Post Author: Chad

A Nobody Just Trying to Figure Things Out.

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