In the Monthly Notioves of the Royal Astronomical Society report, which was led by Duncan Forbes of the United Kingdom's University of Swinburne, a team looked at chemical signatures of 93 globular clusters. The clusters are balls containing hundreds to millions of stars littered throughout the galaxy.
Scientists say they have confirmed that a meteorite that crashed into earth 40 years ago contains millions of different organic compounds. It is thought the Murchison meteorite could be even older than the Sun.
"Having this information means you can tell what was happening during the birth of the Solar System," said lead researcher Dr Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin.
Scientists say the discoveries are a step towards finding potentially habitable planets - smaller planets that are comparable to the Earth. Details of the new planets are described in two papers in the Astrophysical Journal.
The genome of a domestic horse has been successfully sequenced by an international team of researchers. The work, published in the journal Science, may shed light on how horses were domesticated.
It also reveals similarities between the horse and other placental mammals, such as bovids - the hoofed group including goats, bison and cattle. The authors also found horses share much of their DNA with humans, which could have implications for medicine. Horses suffer from more than 90 hereditary diseases that show similarities to those in humans.
People chatting on mobile phones are oblivious to their surroundings and can pose a risk to themselves and others, scientists have claimed. Researchers made the discovery by watching the movements of hundreds of people as they crossed a university campus.
They then got a clown to ride a unicycle around the campus square and asked how many phone users spotted him as they walked by. They found that those that used mobile phones meandered randomly and failed to ackowledge other pedesterians. More than two-thirds also failed to notice the clown, even though he wore a purple and yellow shirt, outsized shoes and a giant red nose.
European astronomers have found 32 new planets outside our solar system, adding evidence to the theory that the universe has many places where life could develop.
Scientists using the European Southern Observatory telescope didn't find any planets quite the size of Earth or any that seemed habitable or even unusual. But their announcement increased the number of planets discovered outside the solar system to more than 400. Six of the newly found planets are several times bigger than Earth, increasing the population of so-called super-Earths by more than 30 percent.
The first results from Nasa's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (Ibex) spacecraft have shown unexpected features at our Solar System's edge.
Ibex was launched nearly one year ago to map the heliosphere, the region of space defined by the extent of our Sun's solar wind. Ibex's first glimpses show that the heliosphere is not shaped as many astronomers have believed. A series of papers in the journal Science outlines the results.
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