Ask an Astronomer Team

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters

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Title Created Date Hits
Is it a coincidence that we can have total solar eclipses? Are there other planets which also have them? (Intermediate) Dec 06 68267
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 63561
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 111896
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 73584
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 270769
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 63471
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 317162
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 102796
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2234415
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 358739
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 67041
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 69703
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 102428
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 65048
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 194537
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 143635
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 89960
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 61860
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 62158
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 526098
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 92585
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 126100
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 149999
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 80056
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 191829
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 269343
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 133620
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 57839
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 135421
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 192069
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 60752
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 109087
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 587085
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 77955
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 49082
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 77338
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 65729
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 59556
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 128495
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 72429
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 73287
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 157746
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 48843
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 127624
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 64901
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 71080
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 50317
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 160219
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 355163
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 67081
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 54916
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 70009
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 200213
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 218236
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 51782
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 67987
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 52391
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 277844
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 59456
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 55019
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 51833
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 182480
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 184123
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 129150
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 79911
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 60234
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 63623
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 51381
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 106519
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 82844
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 90052
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 47305
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 132434
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 62315
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 57130
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 44797
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 48399
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 292949
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 54635
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 111046
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 44681
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 90138
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 333500
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 67630
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 146778
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 359945
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 56477
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 70375
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 54727
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 56768
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 69823
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 258460
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 51018
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 48797
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 107943
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 77655
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 146841
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 105304
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 54965
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 95875
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 78176
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 86820
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 93547
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 116665
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 37461
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 300551
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 51347
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 49462
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 153402
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 54428
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 47284
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 57512
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 67889
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 81822
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 70808
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 65192
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 154066
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 57577
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 124228
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 85572
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 44659
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 157596
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 103784
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 285887
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 42619
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 58922
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 51503
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 98356
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 58966
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 59150
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 53812
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 124210
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 44478

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