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 44380
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 44455
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 77906
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 60011
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 216596
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 45526
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 267467
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 84405
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2182678
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 274723
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 47026
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 56002
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 71235
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 53289
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 118967
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 105937
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 66002
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 45608
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 41948
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 350670
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 68846
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 80635
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 103644
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 60911
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 132733
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 176461
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 99140
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 42848
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 92006
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 126244
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 49336
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 79328
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 371062
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 55589
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 35390
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 60126
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 51839
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 45210
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 101863
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 57568
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 53974
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 144799
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 36366
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 106155
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 48013
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 48975
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 37694
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 136645
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 231958
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 51108
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 38485
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 46145
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 162738
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 167884
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 35425
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 45092
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 37474
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 256891
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 44053
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 38993
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 37064
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 157174
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 120653
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 93213
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 54513
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 45923
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 43217
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 39099
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 80867
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 63475
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 68650
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 33823
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 106714
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 46242
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 39287
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 32850
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 34027
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 233725
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 42273
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 83529
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 32408
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 63393
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 208467
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 53370
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 104682
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 327461
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 43625
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 55866
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 42407
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 41323
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 50550
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 218819
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 37589
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 35410
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 76070
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 55926
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 125793
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 73057
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 41396
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 58156
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 58470
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 59445
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 61628
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 101421
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 26367
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 190565
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 36961
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 37766
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 133656
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 40275
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 34146
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 45986
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 50724
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 58835
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 51432
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 48093
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 140456
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 43162
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 98692
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 52051
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 32771
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 110884
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 74845
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 238558
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 31898
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 43379
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 39358
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 56171
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 43658
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 43207
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 38092
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 91788
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 32200

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