Drake Equation Calculator

R* (Average rate of star formation):
fp (Fraction of stars with planets):
ne (Number of Earth-like planets per star):
fl (Fraction of Earth-like planets that develop life):
fi (Fraction of planets with life that develop intelligence):
fc (Fraction of intelligent life that develops communication):
L (Average lifetime of a communicating civilization):

N (Number of communicating civilizations in the Milky Way):

The Drake Equation Calculator is a tool used to estimate the number of civilizations in our galaxy that could potentially communicate with us. It was developed by Dr. Frank Drake in 1961 as a way to quantify the factors influencing the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations.


The formula is as follows:

N = R * fp * ne * fl * fi * fc * L

where: N = Number of civilizations in our galaxy capable of communication R = Average rate of star formation in our galaxy fp = Fraction of stars with planets ne = Average number of planets that could support life per star with planets fl = Fraction of planets where life actually develops fi = Fraction of life that evolves into intelligent beings fc = Fraction of intelligent civilizations that develop technology for communication L = Lifetime of a communicating civilization


Let’s assume the following values: R = 10 new stars formed per year fp = 0.5 (50% of stars have planets) ne = 2 (2 planets per star with planets can support life) fl = 0.1 (10% of planets develop life) fi = 0.01 (1% of life evolves into intelligent beings) fc = 0.01 (1% of intelligent civilizations develop communication technology) L = 100,000 years (average lifetime of a communicating civilization)

N = 10 * 0.5 * 2 * 0.1 * 0.01 * 0.01 * 100,000 = 10

In this example, the estimated number of civilizations capable of communication in our galaxy is 10.

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