Data Wow: Data Science for Extra Terrestrials

In 1961, Dr Frank Drake presented a controversial equation…called….ummm…the Drake equation, but some critics, labelled the equation a guesstimate or even meaningless.  Yet for the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute, the equation pumps to a beat, and drives the mass collection of data, to yield information relating to any of the equation’s factors.  The controversial Drake equation, aims to predict the number of extra terrestrials in the galaxy, like this :

drake

N = The number of civilizations in The Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable

R* = The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life

fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems

ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life

fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears

fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges

fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space

L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space

If your eyes just glazed over, then try this entertaining animation, where Jill Tarter brings the Drake equation to the masses for the less mathematically focussed, describing the odds of calculating intelligent alien life.

About AussieBICG

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