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 62978
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 58970
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 103688
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 70050
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 256642
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 58978
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 306192
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 97952
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2221997
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 337555
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 61708
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 65835
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 94489
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 62108
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 172985
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 133516
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 83704
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 57653
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 56914
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 486153
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 87011
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 110957
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 139233
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 75285
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 176191
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 245182
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 124852
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 53809
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 123237
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 175417
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 57922
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 100598
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 533540
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 70203
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 45347
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 72567
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 61838
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 55830
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 121219
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 68815
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 68700
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 154344
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 45654
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 122043
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 60143
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 65464
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 47050
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 154583
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 329502
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 61648
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 50472
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 62970
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 191195
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 207253
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 47357
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 62081
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 48644
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 272088
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 55388
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 50579
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 47559
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 176772
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 170419
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 117535
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 73295
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 56351
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 59567
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 48192
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 100584
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 77725
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 84324
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 43772
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 125817
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 58326
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 52544
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 41663
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 44557
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 279331
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 51504
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 104428
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 41577
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 83779
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 303638
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 63932
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 133665
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 350570
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 53015
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 65799
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 51645
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 52509
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 64818
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 247846
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 47535
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 45234
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 99490
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 72871
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 141662
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 98748
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 51372
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 71513
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 73401
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 77360
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 85347
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 112474
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 34526
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 276154
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 47930
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 46489
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 147256
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 50603
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 43863
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 54522
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 63563
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 75251
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 65696
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 60554
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 149654
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 53950
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 116980
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 78475
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 41622
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 147297
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 95620
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 276104
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 39837
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 54714
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 48331
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 84338
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 54540
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 54969
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 49376
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 115527
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 41255

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