Speaker from Harvard to Address ‘Five Mysteries Astronomers Cannot Answer’


Image of an astronomy book cover designed by David Aguilar

David Aguilar created the cover image for this National Geographic book, Planets, Stars, & Galaxies: An Exploration of Our Universe.


Sept. 18, 2006 – “Five Mysteries Astronomers Cannot Answer” will be the topic of a lecture Oct. 4 at Southeast Missouri State University by a guest speaker from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

David Aguilar, director of science information and public programming for the Center, in Cambridge, Mass., the largest astronomical research organization in the world, will speak at a Common Hour presentation at noon in Glenn Auditorium. Aguilar is the first guest in Southeast’s Multicultural Educators Lecture Series sponsored by Funding for Results. The event is free and open to the public.

Aguilar will address the following points:

  1. What caused the Big Bang and what came before it?
  2. Why is the expansion of the universe speeding up?
  3. Why is 95 percent of the universe missing?
  4. Are we really alone?
  5. What are UFO’s, and why won’t they go away?

A multi-talented and highly rated speaker, Aguilar is a nationally recognized space artist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, Time, U.S. News and World Report, CNN, ABC Nightly News, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery magazine, Sky & Telescope magazine, Astronomy magazine and many others.

He was also the creator and editor-in-chief of the award-winning Challenge Magazine, and he has designed science facilities for venues as diverse as the Oak Ridge Public Observatory in Harvard, Mass.; Evergreen Science Center and Planetarium of San Jose, Calif.; and the Children’s Museum in Muncie, Ind.

He has written, directed, and scored music for educational videos including “Return of Halley’s Comet,” “Capturing the Night Sky,” “The Weather at 10” and “Our Nearest Star,” to name a few. He is the author of “The Seven Wonders of the Universe,” a 3-D IMAX movie optioned by Mandalay Media Arts of Hollywood, Calif.

As part of the Funding for Results grant, Aguilar also will visit selected classes and share a communal evening meal and conversation with 15 high-interest students.

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Swartwout at sswartwout@semo.edu or (573) 651-2641.