# Ever heard of THE DRAKE EQUATION ?

@redyellowblackdog (10637)

United States

April 12, 2008 8:07am CST

There is a scientist by the name of (what else?) Drake who created a simple equation for estimating the number of planets in our galaxy capable of interstellar communication.
If you want to skip my explanation and go right to it (includes a DRAKE EQUATION auto CALCULATOR) go to this url:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/origins/drake.html
Want more info to see if you are interested? Continue reading.
The equation has 7 terms. Each term is simply multiplied by the next. It is extrodinarily simple as scientific equations go. There is no trigonometry, calculus, exponitials, or even logarithms. Simple multiplication, that's all. Here are the terms.
R = (R)ate of new star formation in the galaxy per year. Current best estimates put this at 1
PSFP = (P)ercentage of (S)tars (F)orming (P)lanets. Obviously this is not zero as our star has planets and there are other known planets outside our solar system. This number has to be greater than 0 and less than or equal to 1. Your guess is as good as anyone's.
NPSCL = (N)umber of (P)lanets per (S)tar (C)apable of supporting (L)ife. In our solar system this is at least one. Is it greater? Is there simple unintelligent life elsewhere in our solar system? We have not found any so far.
PPL = (P)ercentage of (P)lanets with (L)ife. No one really knows this. Take a guess. 0

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