Metaculus Help: Spread the word
If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.
Drake's Equation Question Set: what is the average number of habitable planets per star?
The first question in the series, with more explanation, is here
The model in question uses probability distributions over the following parameters:
- log-uniform from 1 to 100.
- log-uniform from 0.1 to 1.
- log-uniform from 0.1 to 1.
- log-normal rate, (giving mean 0.5 and median - 0.63).
- log-uniform from 0.001 to 1.
- log-uniform from 0.01 to 1.
- log-uniform from 100 to 10,000,000,000.
In this case we will be addressing the third parameter in the Drake's Equation, . It is the number of planets, per star system, with an environment suitable for (though not necessarily possessing) life. We include suitable moons in this count.
Predictors should use the sliders to make their best estimate of this parameter and its uncertainty.
Most estimates consider how many planets fall within a star's habitable zone, probably with sufficient mass to retain an atmosphere or surface liquid of some type. (For example, our Moon is in our stars' habitable zone, though it is uninhabitable to life as far as we know, although there may have been a brief period of suitability.) However we might be more expansive:
One must also consider the fact that habitable zones move as a star changes over time.
Also there may be condition that allow a planet to be suitable to life outside of the traditional habitable zone such as sub-ice oceans of our gas giants moons.
We may also consider the habitable zones not just for water-based life but other biochemistries.
The resolution to this question will be the scientific consensus 100 years from now, regardless of any remaining uncertainty.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
This question is not yet open for predictions.
Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.