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The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way. The equation was written in 1961 by Frank Drak.

It was mentioned by Dylan in Dal-Martians.

Equation

The Drake equation is N=R×fp×ne×fl×fi×fc×L for:

  • R = the average rate of star formation in Milky Way
  • fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
  • ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
  • fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
  • fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
  • fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
  • L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space

Trivia

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