Nearly half of Americans believe that aliens have visited the Earth, according to a survey. Drake’s equation explores the chances of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations using seven variables.
Multiplied together, these variables give a calculation of the possibility that humanity could one day hear about an intelligent civilization.
While some predictions that use the equation are optimistic, a new comprehensive study suggests a high probability that we are alone in the Milky Way.
There is also about a 38% chance that humans are entirely alone in the visible universe.
A majority of Americans believe in Unidentified Flying Object (UFOs), and just under half believe that extraterrestrial beings have visited the Earth, according to a 2015 survey of approximately 1,000 adults in the United States.
Although the Americans can hardly achieve a basic science quiz created by the government, it is tempting to board the extraterrestrial train: there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the visible universe, hundreds of billions of stars by the galaxy and a limitless number of planets around each star. It is easy to imagine that extraterrestrial life, perhaps intelligent, exists somewhere.
The astrophysicist Frank Drake put the famous formula on the board in 1961. It was at the dawn of a worldwide search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), and his thinking continues to influence the use of astronomical observatories up to nowadays.