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 60169
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 56096
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 99052
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 68369
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 249202
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 56441
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 300204
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 95374
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2215271
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 326801
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 59071
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 64100
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 90213
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 60651
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 158805
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 127689
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 80073
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 55607
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 53992
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 459813
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 83307
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 104434
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 131442
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 72735
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 168002
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 231623
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 119962
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 51875
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 116962
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 162779
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 56541
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 96200
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 500889
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 67726
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 43351
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 70251
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 59938
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 53875
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 117403
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 66967
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 66113
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 152859
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 44054
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 119304
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 57619
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 61755
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 45397
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 151227
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 310341
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 59719
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 48232
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 59180
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 185445
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 200413
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 45104
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 58916
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 46488
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 268888
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 53314
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 48256
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 45854
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 173818
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 162568
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 112996
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 69612
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 54398
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 56166
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 46673
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 96879
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 75012
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 81355
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 41993
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 122010
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 56138
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 50182
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 40162
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 42803
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 270328
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 49897
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 100301
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 39795
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 80554
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 283875
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 61919
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 127531
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 346438
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 51281
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 64059
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 49985
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 50470
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 62206
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 242253
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 45511
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 43512
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 94436
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 69942
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 139109
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 93984
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 49548
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 69007
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 70336
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 73895
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 80606
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 110437
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 33137
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 260263
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 45965
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 44762
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 144971
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 48648
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 42112
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 52981
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 61280
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 71664
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 62857
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 58403
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 148190
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 52279
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 113341
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 73389
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 40157
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 139827
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 91963
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 269964
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 38510
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 52846
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 46772
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 77586
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 52692
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 52903
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 47216
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 111156
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 39543

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