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 64947
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 60577
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 106760
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 71338
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 261892
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 60647
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 310322
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 99585
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2226135
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 345705
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 63651
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 67129
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 97148
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 63096
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 181167
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 137323
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 85954
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 59151
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 58684
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 500127
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 88857
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 116038
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 144384
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 76985
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 180752
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 252331
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 127677
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 55257
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 127882
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 179611
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 58900
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 103714
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 553955
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 72172
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 46668
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 74208
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 63292
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 57086
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 123704
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 70094
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 70248
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 155556
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 46723
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 123785
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 61850
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 67397
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 48200
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 156779
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 340260
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 63279
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 51999
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 65551
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 194162
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 211506
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 48869
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 64220
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 49957
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 274202
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 56855
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 52085
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 49050
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 178798
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 175257
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 121641
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 75624
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 57644
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 60970
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 49219
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 102659
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 79560
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 86269
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 45040
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 128006
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 59751
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 54143
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 42714
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 45852
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 284448
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 52552
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 106937
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 42583
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 86103
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 316228
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 65219
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 138227
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 353617
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 54284
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 67379
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 52691
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 53817
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 66567
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 251937
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 48658
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 46531
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 102609
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 74529
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 143404
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 101029
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 52691
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 73922
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 74834
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 79713
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 87628
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 113934
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 35527
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 284035
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 49127
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 47526
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 149079
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 52009
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 45078
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 55501
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 65021
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 77739
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 67490
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 62248
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 150871
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 55265
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 119587
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 81242
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 42708
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 151326
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 98740
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 280107
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 40801
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 56212
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 49458
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 89747
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 56087
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 56450
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 51077
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 118890
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 42403

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