The Drake Equation.docx - The Drake Equation The Drake...

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The Drake EquationThe Drake Equation is a way of estimating the probability of there beingintelligent life somewhere outside of Earth. The equation was written in 1961 byFrank Drake.The equation isN = R x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x LThe N represents the number of civilizations in the Milky Way today. R isthe average number of new stars per year in the galaxy. Fp is the fraction of starswith habitable planets. Ne represents the average number of Earth-like planets perstar with planets. Fl is the fraction of Earth-like planets that actually develop anylife at all.. Fi is the fraction of life-bearing planets where that develop an intelligentcivilization. fc is the fraction of planets with intelligent life that communicate inways we might detect. L represents the length of time in years that such civilizationcontinues to communicate.The typical number used for the number of new stars per year is 7. Thatnumber is scientifically backed up so it hasn’t changed all that much. Usinginfrared surveys suggest that twenty percent of stars have habitable planets. Thefraction has dropped a little bit due to more accurate technologies that have beendeveloped over the years. The fraction used to show the nuber of Earth-like planetsper star is around 0.0001. The average fraction used to represent the number ofEarth-like planets where life actually exists is between 0.001 and 0.002. Theaverage fraction used to show the number of intelligent life on planets where lifeexists is 0.001. This fraction is the same as the fraction of number of planets withlife because it is assumed that if there is life somewhere else, the likelihood is thatthey are intelligent. The fraction used to show the number of intelligent species thatare able to communicate on an interstellar scale. The average number used torepresent the longevity of a species existent is around 100,000 years. This numberhas changed a lot due to the ongoing wordily activities of today's world such as,nuclear war and the idea of global warming.I would use the nuber 7 to represent the number of new stars per yearbecause it has some scientific backing. I would use the fraction 0.25 to representthe percent of stars with habitable planets because I believe there is a likelihoodthat there is a lot more Earth-like planets in our galaxy that we don’t know about. Iwould use the fraction of 0.0001 to represent the number of Earth-like planets perstar because we know of a lot of stars that don’t have Earth-like planets already. Iwould use the fraction .001 to represent the number of planets that have life and

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Term
Fall
Professor
JeremyMcCraken
Tags
Planet, Extraterrestrial life, fraction of stars