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 54682
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 50299
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 88447
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 64515
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 231600
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 51470
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 285731
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 90560
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2202513
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 300117
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 53148
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 60378
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 81017
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 57128
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 138221
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 116064
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 73133
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 50970
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 47993
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 405627
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 76288
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 91122
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 117116
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 66881
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 150842
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 207038
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 109592
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 47675
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 104504
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 145306
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 53208
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 87613
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 432647
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 61402
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 39257
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 65482
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 56210
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 49864
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 109572
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 62702
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 60435
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 149173
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 40419
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 112891
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 52955
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 55143
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 41791
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 144346
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 271250
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 55670
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 43533
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 52734
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 174045
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 183699
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 40640
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 51614
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 42536
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 262676
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 48954
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 43752
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 41957
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 166684
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 143296
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 102879
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 62075
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 50605
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 51018
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 43173
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 88728
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 69717
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 75449
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 38175
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 114646
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 51245
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 45199
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 36659
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 38764
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 253040
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 46212
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 92374
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 36316
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 73559
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 246724
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 57900
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 115731
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 336896
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 47633
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 60416
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 46410
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 45869
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 56926
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 231097
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 41743
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 39633
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 84825
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 62720
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 132701
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 85129
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 45534
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 63750
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 65252
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 66560
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 70500
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 105877
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 29892
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 227863
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 41492
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 41416
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 140104
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 44669
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 38407
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 49690
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 56120
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 64918
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 57457
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 53665
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 144526
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 48164
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 105830
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 63470
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 36751
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 125855
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 83821
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 256593
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 35368
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 48599
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 43380
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 66965
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 48584
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 48368
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 42973
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 102323
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 35956

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