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Drake Equation

Introduction, Who is the equation named after?

The Drake Equation was developed by Frank Drake, a scientist who became interested in astronomy through his electronics studies. He was born on May 28th, 1930. Many people have tried to work out how many life forms there are in the universe. Drake is by the far the most famous of those people by creating a formula to work out how many life forms there are in the universe.

What is the Drake Equation?

The equation that he created to determine how many extra-terrestrial lives there are in the galaxy was created in 1961 Ref: Space . It was designed for and showcased at a conference for scentists who had expressed an interest in SETI ( Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence ).

Doing research on the net, I have come across two different equations, both purporting to be the Drake Equation. The first is found at ActiveMind, the second at Wikipedia and a site where the owner belongs to the British Astronomical Association. To get the answer simply replace the letters with the values you want to put in. It`s only a crude calculation because some stars might have more life ecological planets than others.


From ActiveMind

N = N* fp ne fl fi fc L

N* = Number of aliens that are around now and communicable.

N* = Number of Stars(*) in our galaxy, the milky way. ( 100000000000 )
fp = Fraction of stars in the galaxy that have planets around them. ( 10% = 0.1 )
ne = Number of planets per star that have life sustaining ecologies. ( 1, 2, 3, 9 )
fl = Fraction of planets where life has actually evolved.( 10% = 0.1 )
fi = Fraction of fl where the life is intelligent. ( 10% = 0.1 )
fc = Fraction of Fi of life that can communicate. ( 10% = 0.1 )
L = Fraction of the fc`s planets life that communicable life survives. ( 1 Billion Years = 0.1 )



From Wikipedia

N = R* fp ne fl fi fc L

N* = Number of aliens that are around now and communicable.

R* = Number of stars that are being born in a year in our galaxy, the Milky Way ( Rate ) ( 10 )
fp = Fraction of R that form planets. ( 10% = 0.1 )
ne = Number of planets per star that have life sustaining ecologies. ( 1, 2, 3, 9 )
fl = Fraction of planets where life has actually evolved.( 10% = 0.1 )
fi = Fraction of fl where the life is intelligent. ( 10% = 0.1 )
fc = Fraction of Fi of life that can communicate. ( 10% = 0.1 )
L = Fraction of the fc`s planets life that communicable life survives. ( 1 Billion Years = 0.1 )


What is the Fermi Paradox?

The Fermi Paradox was an argument against intelligent life being out there by scientists Enrico Fermi, an Italian born American Scientist and Michael H. Hart, an American Scientist. They said that given how old the universe is, (13.8 billion years old) and that the Sun is a mere five billions years old. The Sun is a standard star, it doesn`t stand out from the crowd kind of star then there must be other planets out there. Of those planets out there, some of the planets must have life there. Some of those planets with life must have intelligent life which should have progressed enough to have been able to venture into space and colonize planets. Therefore given that we`ve had no contact with any old civilisations, then we are the only intelligent life form in the whole galaxy or maybe universe.




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