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 74408
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 68890
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 122919
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 78014
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 297748
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 68799
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 334280
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 108881
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2251524
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 379053
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 74299
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 74811
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 111585
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 68561
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 220516
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 157519
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 98362
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 66563
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 68378
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 581434
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 99232
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 142218
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 163507
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 86500
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 208251
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 297971
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 143777
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 62746
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 153313
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 212486
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 64215
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 121161
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 632585
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 84223
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 53037
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 83142
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 70729
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 64097
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 137410
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 76686
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 78806
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 161791
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 53189
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 133923
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 70216
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 76924
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 54451
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 166282
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 389118
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 72644
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 61038
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 79002
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 212472
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 231821
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 58166
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 74649
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 57394
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 287336
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 64209
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 60497
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 56761
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 200415
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 203155
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 144250
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 88890
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 64878
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 69282
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 55174
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 113807
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 89576
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 97593
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 51533
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 139721
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 67374
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 62289
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 48450
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 52814
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 311610
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 58714
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 117474
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 48380
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 97332
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 362949
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 72488
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 163030
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 372847
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 60612
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 75722
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 58349
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 61682
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 76081
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 271923
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 55214
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 53009
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 117430
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 83445
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 154232
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 115531
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 58918
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 128477
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 84607
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 95252
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 101818
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 121915
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 41051
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 339893
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 55162
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 53181
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 160339
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 58988
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 51767
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 61145
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 72478
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 90234
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 77017
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 71213
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 165003
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 62062
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 130699
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 94894
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 48605
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 170290
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 116268
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 299884
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 45811
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 63899
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 55781
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 113375
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 64418
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 64357
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 59183
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 135647
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 48487

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