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 75580
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 70064
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 124625
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 79043
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 303396
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 69883
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 337205
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 110022
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2256772
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 382307
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 75570
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 75821
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 113641
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 69348
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 224691
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 159397
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 100393
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 67548
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 69547
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 594503
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 100510
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 143875
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 165272
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 87820
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 210569
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 301596
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 145077
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 63982
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 156565
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 217862
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 65138
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 123102
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 635076
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 85437
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 54047
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 84266
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 71694
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 65074
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 139350
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 77701
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 79899
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 162753
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 53940
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 134998
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 71196
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 77830
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 55296
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 167408
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 393398
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 73621
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 62177
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 80938
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 214472
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 233806
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 59382
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 75559
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 58422
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 289099
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 65406
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 61523
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 57904
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 202124
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 205868
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 146498
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 90669
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 65713
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 70350
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 55884
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 115166
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 90910
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 98943
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 52303
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 141094
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 68347
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 63525
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 49311
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 53848
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 314780
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 59530
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 118510
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 49147
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 98577
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 365518
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 73761
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 165396
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 374769
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 61589
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 76979
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 58988
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 62614
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 77302
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 274336
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 56022
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 53872
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 118901
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 84366
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 155420
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 117466
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 59781
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 129719
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 85636
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 97057
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 103196
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 123057
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 41729
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 346313
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 55936
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 53958
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 161501
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 60004
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 52824
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 62106
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 73483
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 91262
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 78434
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 72533
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 165992
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 63108
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 131589
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 96577
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 49636
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 171594
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 117900
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 301551
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 46665
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 65044
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 56902
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 117082
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 65601
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 65490
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 60381
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 136812
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 49317

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