10ARE WE ALONE? EXPLORING THE FERMI PARADOX

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Scientists use the Drake equation to estimate the possible number of civilizations in the galaxy currently producing electromagnetic emissions, such as radio waves. In 2017, the equation was updated to account for new exoplanet discoveries by NASA’s Kepler satellite. The result, published in the scientific journal Astrobiology, was astonishing. For humanity to be the first and only technologically advanced species, the probability of an advanced civilization developing on a habitable alien planet would have to be less than 1 in 10 billion trillion! And yet, as Nobel Prize–winning physicist Enrico Fermi ...

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