Last night, I headed to the beautiful Bell House in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn for a Secret Science Club sponsored presentation of The Illusion of Time an episode of NOVA's The Fabric of the Cosmos. Rather than give a recap, I've linked to NOVA's site, and the video is available there.
Before the film presentation, Munier Salem of the Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach group gave a brief talk on "The Anatomy of the Cosmos". Most of the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter, which neither emits nor scatters electromagnetic radiation, is thought to be distributed in "webs" which form the "scaffolding" of the universe. "Normal" or baryonic matter (composed of atoms, as opposed to Byronic matter, which alternates between writing poems and engaging in scandalous behavior, and Baryonyx matter, which went extinct during the Cretaceous period) is thought to aggregate in regions where dark matter clumps. Current models indicate that galaxies are surrounded by a spherical aggregation of dark matter likened to a halo.
Mr Salem's talk was very informative, and he gamely fielded questions from the group on a range of subjects in astronomy and physics. I wish him well in his academic endeavors and look forward to the day when Herr Doktor Salem can give a lecture at the Bell House in the near future.