1997-98
NEW MEXICO
HIGH SCHOOL
SUPERCOMPUTING
CHALLENGE

Interim Report


Team Number: 035
School Name: Cimarron High School
Area of Science: Astronomy
Project Title: Is Anyone Out There?
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/035.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/035.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/035/finalreport.html

Our team is doing a project on the probability that other life will receive the radio signals we have sent into space the last fifty years. It has been basically fifty years since we started the SETI and other programs that send radio signals into space. With our constantly improving technology, it is becoming more likely that we will find another form of life in our galaxy. Although the probability will be very small, it is very significant because communicating with only one other form of life would still prove that we aren't the only life existing in the Milky Way Galaxy.

We will find the probability that life will receive the radio signals we have been sending into space the last fifty years by using parts of the Drake Equation. Our new equation is: [N = S * PS * P * L * I].

N = The probability that life will receive our radio signals. S = The number of stars within fifty light years. PS = The fraction of stars that have a planetary system. P = The fraction of planets suitable for life. L = The probability that life will develop on a suitable planet. I = The probability that life will reach a level of intelligence where they can hear our radio signals.

We will find the numbers to enter into this modified equation from the internet, books, and magazines. Hopefully, mentors will be available to help us in the areas of Biology and Astronomy. The biology mentor we contact will help us find what types of planets are most suitable for life and the probability that life will develop on one such planet. The astronomy mentor will help us find the fraction of stars with a planetary system and the number of stars within fifty light years. Since there is no definite number for any of the numbers to be placed in our equation, we will use a range of possible numbers. We have made a FORTRAN 90 program where we will enter the numbers which we have found and the program will print out the probability that life will reach an intelligence to receive our signals. After the answers are calculated, we will graph the probability versus one and two variables on two and three dimensional graphs. We will look for peaks and valleys and the peaks would be the areas with high probability of life and the valleys would be the low probability of life. This might help people with the search for intelligent life.

Team Members:

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New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge
http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us