Questions tagged [drake-equation]

A formula with 7 terms used to estimate the number of civilizations in the Milky Way capable of radio communication with Earth. Most terms of the equation cannot be meaningfully defined. It functions principally to define what needs to be determined to find that number.

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can we estimate the number of habitable planets within a specified distance from Earth?

For the purposes of this question, I will define "habitable" as: rocky composition like Earth about the same surface gravity as Earth (about 1 G) orbiting a relatively quiet star, like our Sun far ...
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1 answer

Is the universe already colonized or are the Drake equation coefficients a much stronger filter: what are the cosmology issues with this paper?

This paper posits a path to colonizing/probing the universe with lightweight (30g) or heavyweight (500t) probes based on 3 propulsion methods (fission, fusion, antimatter) by mining a planet like ...
11 votes
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Are we alone after all? Understanding the recent re-evaluation of the Drake Equation

The article We may have answered the Fermi Paradox: We are alone in the universe says: Researchers of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute have another answer. It’s likely ...
4 votes
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Could unexpectedly high levels of interstellar space debris be the Great Filter?

I've heard (though I can't find the source) that sufficiently large interstellar space debris has the potential to destroy spacecraft, and that there is considerable uncertainty about how much of a ...
2 votes
1 answer

Is there good estimates/measures on the variables that make up the Fermi paradox?

Here's what I've got: Universe size: Milky way is 100,000 LY wide. Nearest galaxy is 2.2m LY away. Number of stars: about 300,000,000,000 in the Milky way. 100,000,000,000 galaxies. Age of ...
12 votes
4 answers

Is a combination of 'space is big' and 'humans haven't been around long' a good solution to the Fermi paradox?

The Fermi paradox is basically that: There are billions of stars, life is probably abundant throughout the universe. Even though it may take tens of thousands or millions of years for life on other ...