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There is some pretty scary stuff out there.  There are burned-out cores of stars, white-hot glowing balls of super-dense carbon the size of the Earth, but with the mass of a star.  There are even more massive and more compact objects, too, pulsars that have crushed the entire magnetic field of a star into the size of Manhattan Island.  The resulting field is so strong that it rips electrons from their orbits in the atom and hurls them out into space in highly energetic beams of radiation.  And then there is the black hole, something so dense that no force can resist the crushing power of gravity.  Not even light can escape from its grasp inside the event horizon.

You and I will never encounter these objects up close, but an even stranger form of matter might be surrounding you, even passing through you, at this very moment.  This is the mysterious dark matter, that astronomers belive constitutes more mass in the Universe than the normal matter that we can touch and see.  Ask yourself what it is, and why you care.  Without it, you and I wouldn't be here.  Something that important should not escape our notice.

This week you have a pass to the cosmic circus, so make sure you enjoy the freak show!