Drake equation

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Drake equation

[′drāk i‚kwā·zhən]
(astronomy)
An equation which gives the number of advanced technological civilizations curently active in the Galaxy as the product of the rate at which new stars are born in the Galaxy, the probability (actually a product of probabilities) that any one of these stars will possess the necessary conditions for life to originate and to slowly evolve to a technological civilization, and the average longevity of such civilizations.
References in periodicals archive ?
Drake, a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial life, created the formula called Drake's Equation that scientists use to estimate the chances that other life is out there.
Partly because of these implications for humanity's future, many scientists feel Drake's equation and the SETI effort stand as one of the most forward-looking of human endeavors.