The Drake equation is a formula first proposed by Frank Drake of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia[1] in 1960. It is used to estimate the probability of making contact with intelligent life in the Milky Way.

The Drake equation is often seen as a paradox as estimating the first four factors in the equation, based on current knowledge, gives a very high number of planets with life in the Milky Way. This in turn requires the probability of intelligent life or its survival rate to be extremely low to account for the fact that "nobody is talking to us".[Citation needed]

N = R • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L
— Drake's equation
N = The number of broadcasting civilizations.
R = Average rate of formation of suitable stars (stars/year) in the Milky Way galaxy
fp= Fraction of stars that form planets
ne= Average number of habitable planets per star
fl = Fraction of habitable planets (ne) where life emerges
fi = Fraction of habitable planets with life where intelligent evolves
fc = Fraction of planets with intelligent life capable of interstellar communication
L = Years a civilization remains detectable


Season 2




National Radio Quiet Zone

The NRQZ spans WV, Virginia, and parts of Maryland.

  • Green Bank, West Virginia, is located within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ), where all forms radio communications and electromagnetic emissions from equipment are highly restricted by Federal and State Authorities, to minimize interference upon radio telescopes and electronic intelligence gathering systems of the NRAO and US Navy/National Security Agency respectively.


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