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 81090
Do constellations looks the same from space? (Beginner) Dec 06 75035
How can the universe be "flat"? We're 3D! (Beginner) Dec 06 131757
What is the best way to see the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 06 83292
How can I find the star I have "bought"? (Beginner) Jun 06 316699
Will we discover an 11th planet? What would it be called? (Beginner) May 06 74252
Why is a day divided into 24 hours? (Intermediate) Apr 06 348107
When can I see the Moon through the hole in the Pantheon? (Intermediate) Jan 06 115093
What's going to happen on December 21st 2012? (Intermediate) Jan 06 2281941
How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate) Nov 05 391614
How do I explain to my children why the Moon has phases? (Beginner) Oct 05 80348
What is the most distant known galaxy? (Beginner) Sep 05 79935
How much can the location of sunset differ from due West? (Intermediate) Jun 05 121480
How many Astronauts have been in space? (Beginner) May 05 72656
How do the astronauts communicate in space if sound cannot travel in a vacuum? (Beginner) Jan 05 236484
Why does the Earth tilt back and forward once a year? (Beginner) Dec 04 166244
Why do people draw stars with five points? (Intermediate) Nov 04 107208
Is there a project I can do on black holes? (Intermediate) Nov 04 71862
As the universe expands, why don't galaxies get stretched out? (Intermediate) Oct 04 74546
How does the position of Moonrise and Moonset change? (Intermediate) Oct 04 641935
How does Astronomy involve Chemistry? (Intermediate) Sep 04 105724
How is the time of sunrise calculated? (Intermediate) Jun 04 149798
Are there any asteroids on a collision course with Earth? (Beginner) Apr 04 171656
Does Mt. Everest cast a shadow on the moon? (Intermediate) Mar 04 93246
Does quantum entanglement imply faster than light communication? (Intermediate) Mar 04 219028
What is the evidence supporting the nebula theory of Solar System formation? (Intermediate) Jan 04 313883
Can any galaxies be seen with the naked eye? (Beginner) Dec 03 149996
What happened to the girl who named Pluto? (Intermediate) Nov 03 69058
How can I find the distance to the Sun on any given day? (Advanced) Oct 03 167967
Does the Mediterranean sea have tides? (Intermediate) Sep 03 230321
How many stars can I see? (Beginner) Jun 03 68514
Would your weight change as you go underground? (Advanced) Jun 03 129540
Why do airplanes take longer to fly West than East? (Intermediate) Feb 03 643714
Who came up with the name "black hole"? (Beginner) Feb 03 90083
Could photons be dark matter? (Intermediate) Jan 03 57853
How would the weather on Earth be different if it were a cube? (Intermediate) Dec 02 88843
How can we estimate the number of Earth-like planets in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Dec 02 76304
How will the two black holes that are going to collide affect Earth? (Beginner) Nov 02 69168
How often does the Sun pass through a spiral arm in the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Nov 02 147656
Can I buy land on the Moon? (Intermediate) Nov 02 81556
What would happen if two stars collided? (Intermediate) Nov 02 84449
What is the largest galaxy? (Beginner) Nov 02 166763
How are supernovae discovered? (Intermediate) Nov 02 57316
What would you see from inside a black hole? (Intermediate) Oct 02 139526
Can "tired light theory" explain the observed redshifts of galaxies? (Intermediate) Oct 02 75978
Did the speed of light change over the history of the universe? (Intermediate) Oct 02 81888
How do I become an astronomical artist? (Intermediate) Oct 02 59119
What was there before the Big Bang and what is there outside of our universe? (Beginner) Oct 02 171959
Does your weight change between the poles and the equator? (Intermediate) Oct 02 406259
What is the speed of gravity? (Intermediate) Sep 02 77831
Did the Sumerians measure precession? (Intermediate) Sep 02 67282
How different would the night sky have looked in 40,000 B.C.? (Intermediate) Sep 02 86319
Is the Sun expanding? Will it ever explode? (Beginner) Sep 02 222135
How do stars move in the Galaxy? (Intermediate) Sep 02 241207
Is light blueshifted when it is gravitationally lensed? (Intermediate) Sep 02 64567
Could we send a crewed mission to the outer planets? (Intermediate) Aug 02 80675
How can I watch the Perseid meteor shower? (Beginner) Aug 02 62721
What is the largest star? (Beginner) Jul 02 294246
Is infinite temperature possible? (Intermediate) Jul 02 69814
Why can't relative velocities add up to more than the speed of light? (Intermediate) Jul 02 65885
Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner) Jul 02 62493
Why are there both high and low tides? (Intermediate) Jul 02 208807
If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s? (Intermediate) Jul 02 218146
Where, in relation to the entire universe, is the Milky Way located? (Intermediate) Jul 02 156657
How can we know that there are other galaxies if we cannot leave ours? (Beginner) Jun 02 96623
Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in? (Intermediate) Jun 02 69703
Can any comparison be made between spiral galaxies and hurricanes? (Intermediate) Jun 02 74733
What happens to the material that has been sucked into a black hole? (Intermediate) Jun 02 59275
Why are there stars? (Beginner) May 02 119768
Was the Sun made in a supernova? (Intermediate) May 02 96287
How do galaxies collide in an expanding universe? (Intermediate) Apr 02 104584
How do we find out about the star formation histories of galaxies? (Intermediate) Apr 02 56133
How is astronomy impacted by trigonometry? (Intermediate) Apr 02 145332
What are the closest and/or brightest stars? (Beginner) Mar 02 72169
What is the solar cycle? (Beginner) Mar 02 67907
How does interferometry work? (Intermediate) Mar 02 52899
How can I find out if the new moon has been sighted? (Intermediate) Mar 02 58131
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a telescope in space? (Intermediate) Feb 02 324456
Was I hit by a meteorite? (Intermediate) Feb 02 62873
Where is the nearest black hole? (Intermediate) Feb 02 122828
How do astronomers come up with their facts? (Beginner) Feb 02 52392
Can a lunar and a solar eclipse happen in the same month? When will this happen next? (Intermediate) Feb 02 103966
What would happen if the gravity on Earth was suddenly turned off? (Beginner) Jan 02 373447
What is Earthrise over the Moon? (Intermediate) Jan 02 78340
How did the stars get named? (Intermediate) Jan 02 173693
What is a white hole? (Advanced) Jan 02 382433
What are the facts about the Star of Bethlehem? (Intermediate) Dec 01 65598
Is the Moon hollow? (Intermediate) Dec 01 81200
Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about? (Beginner) Nov 01 62059
What type of energy does a black hole have? (Intermediate) Nov 01 66484
What is the difference between homogeneity and isotropy? (Advanced) Nov 01 82560
How many Earths fit into the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 01 281493
How are astronomy and poetry linked? (Intermediate) Oct 01 59956
Why don't astronauts sublimate in space? (Advanced) Aug 01 58083
Is the Earth slowly getting larger? (Beginner) Aug 01 123805
Why don't astronomers use everyday units to measure distances (what is an AU or a pc)? (Intermediate) Aug 01 88233
Does the Sun move around the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Jul 01 160179
How does night and day work? (Beginner) Jun 01 122956
What supernova created the Crab nebula? (Intermediate) May 01 63416
Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner) Apr 01 134621
What is the typical size of a visible shooting star? (Intermediate) Apr 01 89767
Why do we study black holes? (Beginner) Apr 01 102798
Wouldn't the Big Bang theory be considered a hypothesis and not a theory? (Intermediate) Apr 01 109007
Where does the name "Milky Way" come from? (Beginner) Mar 01 127142
Why was Mir burned up in the atmosphere? (Intermediate) Mar 01 44946
Why is looking out into space the same as looking back in time? (Beginner) Mar 01 374745
What class of spiral galaxy is the Milky Way? (Intermediate) Mar 01 59575
Was Stonehenge built to mark solar phenomena? (Intermediate) Feb 01 57220
When is the next comet due to arrive? (Beginner) Feb 01 166025
What month was it when Odysseus saw Orion in 1000BC? (Advanced) Feb 01 64426
Where can I see Newton's original reflecting telescope? (Beginner) Feb 01 57175
What is dark matter? (Beginner) Feb 01 65636
What are quasars made of? (Beginner) Jan 01 77330
How can I find my age on another planet? (Beginner) Dec 00 94921
Could you tell me about the life cycle of galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 84205
How are galaxies named? (Beginner) Nov 00 77622
How many known galaxies are there? (Intermediate) Nov 00 169845
Do galaxies orbit around anything? (Intermediate) Nov 00 67206
How are black holes made? Could one be made close to us? (Beginner) Nov 00 135752
Why is the shadow on the Moon the shape it is? (Beginner) Nov 00 103350
How do you classify galaxies? (Intermediate) Nov 00 53628
How do rockets move in space? (Beginner) Nov 00 176324
What would happen to the Earth if an asteroid hit the Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 124504
What would happen if we did not have a Moon? (Intermediate) Oct 00 308397
Where can I find information on the moons of other planets? (Intermediate) Oct 00 50089
How many sunspots can the Sun have at once? (Beginner) Oct 00 69749
Why are telescopes kept in cold conditions? (Beginner) Oct 00 60991
How hot is each one of the layers of the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 127036
Do we know everything about the Sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 69992
If we invented special suits could we ever go to the sun? (Beginner) Oct 00 70414
Why is the Hubble Space Telescope in space? (Beginner) Oct 00 64897
Where does the name "Moon" come from? (Beginner) Oct 00 140908
Is cosmic expansion happening on microscopic scales? (Advanced) Jan 99 53076

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