Select A Region:

Our local neighborhood in the galaxy (a cube with sides of 1,000ly)
Milky Way galaxy
Observable Universe

Select A Probability:

10-24 (About as likely that you’d be hit by lightning four times in one year)
10-18 (About one in a billion billion)
3 x 10-9 (About as likely you will win the powerball)
10-4 (About one in 10,000)

INTERACTIVE: Life on other planets? What are the odds?

How likely is it that we are the first advanced civilization? Use this graphic to find out.

  1. Choose a cosmic "neighborhood" to play in: just our own local corner, the whole Milky Way, or the whole observable universe
  2. Choose your probability factor: how optimistic or pessimistic are you that advanced life can evolve on other habitable planets?
Key: Answer: