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 70257
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 65542
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 115252
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 75313
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 276603
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 65396
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 321623
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 104769
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2238824
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 364407
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 69450
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 71483
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 105299
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 66395
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 203137
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 147787
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 92371
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 63563
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 64365
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 541999
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 94932
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 131452
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 154490
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 82158
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 197278
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 278105
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 137467
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 59595
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 140525
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 199656
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 61978
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 112371
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 600936
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 79999
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 50578
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 79440
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 67588
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 61212
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 131089
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 73994
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 75353
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 159251
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 50169
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 129781
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 66845
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 73354
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 51856
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 162478
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 363740
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 69237
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 56960
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 72995
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 204161
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 221927
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 53655
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 70423
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 54156
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 280829
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 61145
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 56835
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 53550
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 187330
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 190326
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 134277
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 82878
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 61961
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 65859
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 52889
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 109026
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 84795
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 92416
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 48869
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 134932
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 64127
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 58947
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 46183
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 50087
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 297453
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 56046
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 113681
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 46005
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 92525
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 342505
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 69422
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 151848
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 364043
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 57983
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 72354
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 56117
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 58451
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 71925
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 262697
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 52449
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 50373
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 111456
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 79564
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 149337
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 108362
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 56493
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 104251
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 80666
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 89235
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 96694
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 118419
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 38868
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 309096
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 52725
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 50797
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 155889
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 56083
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 48777
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 58989
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 69644
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 84099
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 72596
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 66955
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 156540
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 59129
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 126423
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 88616
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 46125
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 162500
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 108651
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 290289
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 43799
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 60707
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 53011
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 102228
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 60814
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 60953
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 55746
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 128434
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 45977

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