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 57219
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 52842
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 92597
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 66325
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 240149
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 53811
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 292730
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 92796
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2208097
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 312162
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 55814
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 62057
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 84621
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 58745
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 148226
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 122025
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 76193
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 53233
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 50438
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 432335
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 78948
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 96307
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 124220
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 69271
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 159048
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 215438
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 113846
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 49622
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 109794
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 151133
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 54753
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 90862
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 461933
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 63964
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 41014
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 67654
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 57975
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 51718
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 112742
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 64632
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 62947
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 150950
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 42086
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 115845
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 55079
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 57947
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 43428
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 147470
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 286739
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 57394
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 45719
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 55553
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 178699
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 191537
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 42755
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 54829
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 44429
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 265457
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 50923
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 45596
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 43866
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 169956
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 152155
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 107266
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 65156
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 52349
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 53276
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 44770
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 92072
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 72152
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 78023
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 39942
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 117439
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 53328
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 47513
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 38261
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 40618
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 260151
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 47819
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 96253
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 37860
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 77119
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 262639
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 59780
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 120791
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 341119
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 49315
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 62154
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 48024
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 47949
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 59462
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 236288
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 43316
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 41483
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 88848
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 65954
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 135596
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 88979
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 47302
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 66026
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 67539
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 69450
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 73742
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 107872
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 31403
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 240418
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 43365
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 43022
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 142384
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 46482
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 40084
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 51145
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 58513
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 67478
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 59831
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 55915
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 146199
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 50081
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 108695
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 67817
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 38306
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 132156
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 87703
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 262897
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 36924
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 50515
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 44895
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 71250
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 50430
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 50548
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 44849
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 106007
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 37575

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