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- R* is the rate of star formation in our galaxy
- fp is the fraction of those stars which have planets
- ne is average number of planets which can potentially support life per star that has planets
- fl is the fraction of the above which actually go on to develop life
- fi is the fraction of the above which actually go on to develop intelligent life
- fc is the fraction of the above which are willing and able to communicate
- L is the expected lifetime of such a civilization
The second variation stated: