Softly Into That Good Nitrous

Why sales of pressurized laughing gas are sky high in Arizona

Astronomers suspect the first step in the formation of planets occurs inside the giant, gaseous clouds created, in theory, by the Big Bang. One such cloud is located near the constellation Sagittarius. Earlier this year, NASA scientists aimed a radio telescope in its direction to study the radio signature of the cloud's molecules.

Last month, NASA reported its findings: The cloud is nitrous oxide. It's also 25,000 light-years away, or one quick round trip, up, up and away, in a beautiful balloon.

Contact David Holthouse at his online address: dholthouse@newtimes.com

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