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The Drake Equation

How can we estimate the number of technological civilizations that might exist among the stars? While working as a radio astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, Dr. Frank Drake (now Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute) conceived an approach to bound the terms involved in estimating the number of technological civilizations that may exist in our galaxy. The Drake Equation, as it has come to be known, was first presented by Drake in 1961 and identifies specific factors thought to play a role in the development of such civilizations. Although there is no unique solution to this equation, it is a generally accepted tool used by the scientific community to examine these factors.

articles & documents

The Chance of Finding Aliens

Alan M. MacRobert and Govert Schilling

In 1961 the Drake Equation put the search for alien civilizations on a scientific footing and launched the modern SETI movement. How do its numbers look today? What is the chance of finding aliens?  R

The Drake Equation and Extraterrestrial Life, a Brief Overview

Peter Warrington, Manchester Astronomical Society

A number of the implications regarding the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence are discussed. The Drake equation is introduced and some values for the established parameters suggested, a further parameter is proposed.  R

websites & organizations

Drake Equation

The Electronic Sky

Drake Equation Calculator

SETI Institute

The Drake Equation

Life in the Universe

The Drake Equation

The Mysterious & Unexplained