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The Drake Equation are we not Alone?

What are our chances of communicating with intelligent aliens? Are there other habitable worlds in our galaxy? Is there life elsewhere in our galaxy? Is there intelligent life? Are there other technological civilizations in our galaxy with whom we can communicate? How can we estimate how many there are of each of these?

In 1961, Dr. Frank Drake developed the Drake Equation to estimate the number of other technological civilizations that exist in our galaxy with whom we can communicate. Use the adapted version below to calculate the number of worlds within our Milky Way Galaxy that have intelligent life whose radio emissions should be detectable.

Use the buttons and sliders and Enter your estimates for each term below. You can learn more about each term and receive some help deciding upon estimated values. The values will be instandly updated.


Drake Equation app Credits:

NOVA scienceNOW



(Frank Drake)
© Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS
(Milky Way, star formation, Earth, satellite dishes, meteorite)
(star wobble)
produced by the Cornell Theory Center based on research by Alex Wolszczan, Penn State
© Howard Sochurek/CORBIS
Courtesy of NOAA



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