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 90157
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 82934
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 145371
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 90230
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 337569
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 81185
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 364097
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 123936
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2314582
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 405450
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 88931
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 86836
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 134779
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 77768
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 256409
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 178651
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 117122
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 78883
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 81617
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 701888
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 115039
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 159021
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 184818
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 102799
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 232059
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 335767
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 156704
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 77569
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 184390
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 251620
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 74470
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 138547
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 655706
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 97838
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 63895
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 96662
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 85771
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 75634
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 159960
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 87450
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 93145
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 172264
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 62415
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 146033
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 83246
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 88765
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 65252
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 178651
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 424834
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 85992
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 75342
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 94634
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 238307
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 252987
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 71439
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 88062
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 69439
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 303833
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 77945
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 73859
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 70128
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 220783
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 239336
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 177299
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 106397
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 75718
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 81575
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 64940
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 128614
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 105229
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 113582
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 62087
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 152617
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 78063
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 75453
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 58770
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 65658
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 340223
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 67945
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 129594
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 58493
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 111984
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 385691
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 86208
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 188419
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 392316
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 71958
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 90637
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 66692
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 73174
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 91680
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 294218
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 65617
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 65767
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 132045
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 95355
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 169549
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 132877
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 69681
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 145183
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 96757
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 111687
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 119541
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 133397
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 50954
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 411472
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 66332
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 62638
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 172814
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 71837
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 64179
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 72202
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 83330
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 102554
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 92347
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 86067
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 176823
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 73887
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 143522
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 113696
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 60658
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 184231
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 135713
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 319196
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 56901
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 77708
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 67842
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 141963
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 77013
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 78146
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 72930
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 147623
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 59025

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