A Wonderful Interview with Frank Drake

In June 2012, SETI Institute Board Member Andrew Fraknoi sat down with astrophysicist Frank Drake, father of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, for a fantastic 45-minute interview about Drake's current projects at SETI and the history of his research – including the work that led to the famous equation of » 2/04/14 10:30am 2/04/14 10:30am

New Kepler data could change our odds of meeting aliens

Earlier this week we reported on the astounding revelation that 22% of sunlike stars in the Milky Way are orbited by potentially habitable, Earth-sized worlds. Given that there may be billions upon billions of life-friendly planets out there, it's time to revise the numbers in the Drake Equation and estimate how many… » 11/08/13 9:38am 11/08/13 9:38am

A New Equation Reveals Our Exact Odds of Finding Alien Life

It’s been over half a century since Frank Drake developed an equation to estimate the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy. We’ve learned a lot since then, prompting an astrophysicist from MIT to come up with her own take on the equation. Here’s how the new formula works — and how it could help in the… » 6/21/13 11:00am 6/21/13 11:00am

Why finding love is like finding alien intelligence

Current estimates put the number of stars in the Milky Way at well over 100 billion, each of which is thought to have at least one planet in its orbit. Assuming at least some of these planets have given rise to intelligent life capable of communicating with Earth, why haven't we heard from them yet? » 2/13/13 1:58pm 2/13/13 1:58pm

Use this interactive chart to figure out how many alien worlds exist…

BBC Future, with the help of iib Studio, has put together a very cool interactive calculator that takes the Drake equation to the next level. Typically, the equation is used to estimate how many radio-transmitting civilizations could currently exist in the Milky Way Galaxy — but by adding just one extra variable, it… » 8/22/12 10:54am 8/22/12 10:54am

Is it too late for first contact with aliens?

Every scientific breakthrough has taken time to get going. Knowledge and technology needs to slowly accrue over time until a tipping point is reached. But in some cases, time just isn't a factor. Can we say that some things will never happen because they haven't happened yet? » 6/01/12 1:08pm 6/01/12 1:08pm