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 66605
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 62199
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 109526
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 72520
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 266668
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 62142
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 314039
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 101304
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2230384
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 354051
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 65431
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 68448
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 99741
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 64126
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 187980
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 140673
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 88101
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 60602
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 60529
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 514049
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 90806
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 121317
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 147351
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 78582
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 186555
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 259435
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 130940
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 56624
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 131722
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 185708
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 59880
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 106714
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 572027
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 76002
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 47971
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 75870
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 64573
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 58413
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 126604
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 71339
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 71866
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 156705
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 47862
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 126002
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 63424
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 69408
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 49323
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 158731
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 349082
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 65373
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 53620
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 67976
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 197555
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 215505
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 50364
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 66305
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 51246
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 276152
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 58283
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 53687
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 50544
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 180581
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 180001
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 125853
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 77731
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 59022
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 62363
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 50374
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 104789
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 81281
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 88352
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 46213
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 130441
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 61069
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 55746
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 43810
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 47093
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 289296
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 53620
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 109414
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 43678
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 88104
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 325609
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 66433
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 142991
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 357300
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 55421
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 68800
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 53813
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 55458
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 68228
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 255640
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 49936
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 47712
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 105252
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 76252
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 145142
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 103329
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 53879
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 92978
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 76583
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 84868
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 89708
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 115399
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 36544
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 293634
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 50301
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 48560
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 151640
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 53249
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 46216
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 56526
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 66603
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 80216
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 69349
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 63788
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 152553
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 56485
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 122549
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 83530
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 43755
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 154721
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 101613
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 283125
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 41784
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 57610
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 50495
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 95140
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 57569
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 57848
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 52505
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 121730
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 43479

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