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 79268
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 73376
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 129227
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 81829
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 312387
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 72692
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 344382
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 113270
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2274869
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 388289
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 78719
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 78485
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 119015
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 71611
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 232288
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 163864
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 105030
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 70426
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 72777
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 626930
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 103774
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 147714
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 169437
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 91421
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 216150
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 308823
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 148269
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 67327
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 163937
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 226605
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 67434
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 127476
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 640981
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 88643
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 56644
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 87337
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 74679
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 67784
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 144624
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 80215
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 82925
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 165344
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 56196
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 137849
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 74334
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 80528
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 57815
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 170484
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 401889
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 76406
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 65520
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 84504
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 219196
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 238698
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 62796
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 78947
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 61254
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 292465
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 68331
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 64450
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 60860
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 206494
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 213635
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 152417
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 94589
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 68354
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 73284
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 58068
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 118165
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 94360
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 102598
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 54746
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 143998
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 70893
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 66371
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 51658
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 56628
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 320888
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 61763
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 121376
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 51314
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 102092
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 370723
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 76762
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 170703
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 379855
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 64211
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 79798
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 61008
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 65288
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 80712
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 279000
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 58680
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 56674
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 122125
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 86921
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 158599
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 120950
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 62187
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 132888
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 88468
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 101029
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 106992
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 125850
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 43902
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 366459
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 58348
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 56128
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 164472
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 62938
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 55781
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 64471
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 76015
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 93650
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 82450
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 75869
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 168457
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 65782
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 134385
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 101032
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 52314
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 174630
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 122153
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 306073
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 48999
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 68109
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 59672
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 123067
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 68527
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 68849
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 63277
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 139586
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 51814

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