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Ever since the astronomer Frank Drake penned a rough equation in 1961 for the likelihood of finding an alien civilization, astronomers have been struggling to quantify the chances of encountering extraterrestrial life. For the most part, it's been a guessing game (Drake himself suggested there might be about two advanced civilizations in the Milky Way at any given time).

People are still guessing all these years later, but now they're guessing with data. A paper that appeared Tuesday on the physics preprint server ArXiv.org analyses the chances of finding other earths in a set of 150,000 stars studied by the Kepler mission. It finds that the odds are quite a bit lower than anyone thought - about 1 in 100.

Drake was wrong, as others will be wrong, so it really doesn't matter what "you" think.  To read the rest of the article, click here.
Category: Science