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 52236
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 48238
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 84312
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 62871
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 226182
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 49397
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 279570
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 88568
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2196740
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 288425
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 50728
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 58847
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 77774
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 55625
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 130259
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 112280
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 70187
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 48992
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 45746
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 388093
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 73700
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 87089
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 112148
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 64730
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 145748
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 197777
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 106001
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 45844
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 100315
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 140333
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 51857
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 84438
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 412259
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 59135
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 37852
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 63446
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 54505
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 48117
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 106851
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 60930
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 58276
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 147608
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 38826
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 110330
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 51028
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 53010
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 40235
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 141508
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 257193
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 54048
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 41680
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 50317
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 170062
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 177533
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 38756
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 49066
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 40764
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 260426
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 47174
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 42011
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 40228
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 163661
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 133742
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 99242
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 59419
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 48943
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 48881
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 41730
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 85632
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 67336
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 73056
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 36532
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 111592
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 49318
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 43036
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 35329
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 37092
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 245931
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 44777
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 89547
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 34998
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 71017
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 231031
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 56280
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 111598
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 333196
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 46057
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 58885
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 44957
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 44135
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 54594
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 226719
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 40313
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 38002
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 81498
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 59929
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 130316
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 81175
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 44035
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 61728
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 63106
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 63512
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 67630
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 104224
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 28563
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 216143
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 39791
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 40078
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 137984
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 43013
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 36799
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 48306
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 54011
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 62607
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 55172
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 51720
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 143010
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 46400
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 103088
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 59469
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 35320
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 120257
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 80694
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 250800
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 34077
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 46757
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 41984
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 63174
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 46886
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 46535
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 41275
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 97648
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 34532

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