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4/11/2018 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Five Unsolved Mysteries in Astronomy - We are living in the midst of a Golden Age in astronomy. From our vantage point in the Milky Way, astronomers have surveyed billions of light-years of space and peered billions of years back in time. Despite the many triumphant discoveries and successful theories, there remains much that is unexplained. This presentation will discuss the unsolved mysteries of what makes up the universe, are we likely to find more planets in the outer solar system, and can we find life beyond Earth.

Presenter's biography: Brent Studer grew up under the very dark skies of Clear Lake, Iowa, and some of his earliest memories are of watching the Gemini and Apollo space missions on television and making flash cards to teach himself the constellations. He also was an avid fan of the original Star Trek series when he discovered it in reruns during elementary school. After attending North Iowa Area Community College, he transferred to the University of Iowa and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy and then a Master of Science degree in Astronomy. During that time, he had the great fortune to take General Astronomy 1 as well as a course in Newtonian mechanics from legendary space physicist James Van Allen. Brent has taught astronomy at Kirkwood Community College since 1990 and has also worked as a science coordinator on several large-scale education assessments, including The Nation’s Report Card and the Trends in International Math and Science Survey. In addition to his work at Kirkwood, he was the STEM Specialist for The University of Iowa’s TRiO Upward Bound Project for 13 years. While with the Upward Bound Project, Brent worked with low-income and potential first-generation college students throughout their high school years as they prepared to pursue postsecondary education. After leaving Upward Bound, Brent began working with the College Board as Director of Science Assessment Development. His primary responsibilities involve the redesign and continued development of the SAT suite of assessments. H e has a wide range of interests and is proud that he can just as easily explain the origin of the 3K cosmic microwave background as quote the lyrics of Johnny Mercer and Lorenz Hart.