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 85995
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 78608
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 140875
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 86213
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 328683
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 77556
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 356826
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 120232
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2297370
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 399843
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 85195
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 82906
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 128104
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 75425
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 249218
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 173646
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 112232
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 75004
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 77973
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 674183
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 110333
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 154931
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 179521
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 98659
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 225206
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 324701
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 153272
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 73920
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 177414
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 239241
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 71278
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 134002
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 650853
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 93558
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 60645
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 93333
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 81164
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 72134
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 154369
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 84336
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 89242
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 169465
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 59523
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 142569
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 79459
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 85639
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 61906
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 174983
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 417277
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 82479
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 70943
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 90042
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 231211
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 246876
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 67643
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 84327
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 65901
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 298796
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 73077
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 69768
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 66253
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 216127
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 231705
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 167404
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 101191
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 72170
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 78015
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 61966
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 123895
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 100909
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 108796
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 58802
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 148779
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 74748
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 71460
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 55518
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 62285
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 332960
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 65274
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 125937
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 55443
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 107916
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 380749
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 82456
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 182227
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 387777
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 69018
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 84977
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 64316
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 69328
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 87659
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 288091
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 62569
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 61690
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 127510
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 91997
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 164609
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 127931
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 66311
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 139060
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 93318
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 107358
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 114913
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 129970
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 47449
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 394084
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 62651
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 59853
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 169295
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 68477
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 60290
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 69601
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 80044
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 99097
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 88078
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 81680
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 173190
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 70008
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 139324
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 108336
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 56592
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 180271
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 130979
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 314471
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 53250
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 73729
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 64172
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 135300
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 73205
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 73966
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 68685
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 144176
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 55716

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