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In 1961 American professor Frank Drake wrote his famous calculation now known as the Drake Equation. In it, he attempts to quantify the number of ascension civilizations currently residing in our Milky Way galaxy. The formula uses seven variables to mathematically search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) and conclude an estimate of their number.


Much has changed in science and astronomy since the time Professor  Drake's equation was first presented almost sixty years ago. An updated equation would better reflect our current understanding of the variables needed to support the development of an advanced civilization.

Are We Alone - the SETI Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence

Seaching Our Milky Way Galaxy

This website presents not only an updated equation but a new and expanded one. The new equation increases the number of variables involved from the original seven to twenty to better reflect the complexity of the conditions needed to support intelligent life in our galaxy. The values of many of these variables though still weak,  are also better understood today.


The new and updated equation is presented on this website.


​Within this website, I also present a SETI Calculator.  Here you'll be able to input your own values for each of the new equation's twenty variables and then calculate the number of possible ascension species in our galaxy based on your own input data. To guide you through the calculation each input is aided by a definition of each variable and by displaying its current known value or a best estimate where known. Further, with your calculated results randomly distributed through our Milky Way galaxy, the page will also calculate an approximate distance in light-years of the closest intelligent species from Earth.

In addition, I also present an Earth-Like Calculator.  With it you'll see how common (relatively speaking) Earth-like planets may be,  plus the page will then calculate an estimate as to how far from Earth the closest could be from us.

To summarize, this website will attempt to answer the following questions that have long since puzzled us...

  • Are humans forever confined to our own solar system?

  • Why have we never detected by radio an advanced civilization elsewhere?

  • How many other Earth-like planets and how many other ascension species, might be out there and how far away could they be from us?

  • Why haven't we made First Contact?

  • Are we alone?

Ken Pilon

You may also be interested in another astronomy website of mine.... The White Zone.


This website is all about astro-imaging from deep inside the big city.  Created specifically for the urban astronomer whether backyard or balcony, you'll find out how to image in the worst light-polluted skies.  Equipment recommendations, tips, best-suited target types, results obtained, it's all there.  You'll even discover how in many ways it's better than traveling to a dark sky site!

You'll find all of this and more, right here at.... The White Zone.

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