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 64501
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 60434
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 106319
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 70921
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 262119
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 60429
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 310072
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 99266
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2225967
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 345662
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 63205
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 66789
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 97024
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 62813
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 181330
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 137552
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 86105
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 58756
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 58543
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 497103
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 88705
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 115304
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 145094
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 76687
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 180838
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 251390
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 127246
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 54884
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 127322
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 179241
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 58679
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 103036
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 557164
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 71692
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 46372
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 73848
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 62846
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 56773
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 123336
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 69792
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 69992
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 155197
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 46573
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 123491
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 61478
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 67058
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 47922
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 156708
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 339403
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 62597
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 51657
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 65216
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 194257
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 211176
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 48561
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 64038
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 49670
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 273677
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 56478
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 51695
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 48493
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 178480
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 175174
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 120373
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 74950
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 57360
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 60818
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 48951
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 102735
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 79284
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 86180
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 44745
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 127831
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 59458
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 53798
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 42449
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 45514
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 283445
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 52363
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 106665
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 42428
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 85532
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 314858
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 64949
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 137742
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 352932
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 54009
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 66876
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 52456
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 53666
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 66147
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 250847
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 48429
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 46193
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 102330
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 74280
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 143029
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 101260
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 52395
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 73006
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 74773
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 79561
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 87466
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 113801
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 35231
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 284448
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 48928
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 47247
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 148590
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 51639
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 44747
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 55214
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 64832
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 77392
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 67275
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 61800
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 150522
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 54932
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 119305
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 80880
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 42411
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 150818
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 98416
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 279663
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 40532
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 55788
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 49165
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 88587
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 55804
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 56274
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 50469
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 118372
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 42065

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