The Drake Equation was developed by Frank Drake in 1961 as a way to focus on the factors which determine how many intelligent, communicating civilizations there are in our galaxy. It was originally written simply as a means to stimulate discussion in a meeting on radio astronomy, but has since been seen as a useful tool for estimating our likelihood of contacting intelliget alien civilisations. The simplest form of the Drake Equation to understand is as follows: The number of communicating civilisations in our galaxy, N, is:
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