Drake’s Equation – We Are Not Alone!

Seen some pics of eggs on the net today, can’t remember how or why, followed closely by some story about star birth or some such thing. Decided to put the two together and come up with this composition..as you do.


I once read a book called “Is Anyone Out There” by Frank Drake and Dava Sobel which was all about SETI (the Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) and in it Frank Drake came up with an equation which estimates the possiblilities of there being other advanced civilisations in the universe. Here’s the equation:

N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L


N = The number of civilizations in The Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.
R* =The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.
fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.
fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.
fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

If you do the maths, it’s nearly impossible to believe we could be alone in the universe, there’s simply too many stars and systems like our own that could support life. For us to be the only one is unthinkable! Fascinating really..


Eggs photo from Sxc.hu
Earth photo from Sxc.hu


I first cut the earth out of it’s background and dragged it into the eggs photo then used the Transform – Warp tool to match the existing yolk shape in the broken egg. I then added  a layer mask to the earth and cut out the parts of it with the Pen tool that overlaid the egg shell to make it look like it fitted inside the shell properly. I needed to lower the transparency of the earth layer to see where I was going doing these.

Next on the earth layer I used Layer Blending Options on the ‘underlying layer’ to bring out the shine on the egg yoke and make it look like it was on the earth too. Adjusting the layer blending also helped with blending the colours and features of the earth onto the egg yolk underneath.

I then added a glow on the earth to mimic the light source on the other eggs via Selection – Fill with white – Gaussian Blur. A new ‘overlay’ shadow layer using the Brush tool was needed to add a little shadow around the top and left of the earth from the egg shell.

Some fine adjustments using the Blur tool on the earth edge and here’s the finished article:

Drake's Equation

Published by

Leon Quinn

Multimedia Design company in Leitrim, Ireland specializing in WordPress Website Design, Photoshop and Graphics. www.reverbstudios.ie

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