In the 12th episode of Cosmos, which aired on December 14, 1980, the program’s co-creator and host Carl Sagan introduced television viewers to astronomer Frank Drake’s eponymous equation. Using it, he calculated the potential number of advanced civilizations in the Milky Way that could contact us using the extraterrestrial equivalent of our modern radio-communications technology. Sagan’s estimate ranged from “a pitiful few” to millions. “If civilizations do not always destroy themselves shortly after discovering radio astronomy, then the sky may be softly humming with messages from the stars,” Sagan intoned in his inimitable way.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.