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 71935
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 67051
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 119101
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 76444
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 282602
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 66846
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 327593
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 106613
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2244348
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 371615
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 71683
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 72861
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 108043
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 67308
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 211289
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 152226
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 94605
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 64893
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 66184
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 561698
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 97071
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 136601
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 159615
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 84186
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 202562
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 289218
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 140516
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 60917
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 146769
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 206628
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 62922
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 116720
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 615645
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 81781
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 51709
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 81158
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 69047
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 62497
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 133828
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 75198
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 76983
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 160314
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 51915
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 131632
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 68314
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 75025
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 52984
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 164120
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 376604
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 70828
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 59085
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 75543
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 208445
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 226696
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 56036
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 72531
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 55658
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 284361
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 62423
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 58610
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 54805
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 197215
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 196747
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 139343
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 85803
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 63233
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 67445
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 53931
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 111289
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 87090
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 94742
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 50026
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 137160
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 65688
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 60427
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 47200
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 51204
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 305454
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 57373
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 115564
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 47108
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 94500
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 353767
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 70781
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 157203
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 368276
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 59072
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 73902
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 57122
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 60047
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 73610
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 267209
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 53631
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 51482
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 114454
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 81553
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 151628
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 112538
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 57590
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 118613
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 82658
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 91847
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 99105
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 120190
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 39867
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 325709
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 53835
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 51951
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 158266
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 57305
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 49997
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 59940
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 70955
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 86970
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 74809
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 68716
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 161620
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 60397
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 128595
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 91341
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 47265
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 166526
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 112334
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 295159
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 44699
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 62077
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 54165
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 107617
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 62445
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 62498
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 57351
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 132325
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 47054

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