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Try using the Drake equation with values that you find reasonable. How many civilizations do you estimate there are in our Galaxy?

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Briefly, the Drake equation is used to arrive at a rough, probabilistic estimate of the number of intelligent, technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations within the Milky Way galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable. 

The many variables include:

i. The average rate of star formation in our galaxy

ii. The fraction of those stars with planets

iii. The number of habitable planets per star

iv. The fraction of habitable planets on which life actually appears

v. The fraction of life-bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges

vi. The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space

vii. The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space

The estimations on these variables can range from reasonable to speculative given the lack of data sets to draw upon when it comes to the existence of life on other planets. Choosing what estimates feel right to you will depend in large part...

(The entire section contains 481 words.)

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