IamA Astronomer AMA!
Some folks in the "scariest thing in the universe" AskReddit thread were asking for an AMA, so here I am guys- ask whatever you like from your friendly neighborhood astronomer!
Background about me:
I am an American gal currently in the 4th year of my PhD in radio astronomy in the Netherlands. Here is a picture of me at Jodrell Bank Observatory a few weeks ago in the UK, and here is my Twitter feed.
My specialties are radio signals (even worked a summer at SETI), black holes that eat stars, and cosmic ray particles. I dabble in a lot of other stuff though too, plus the whole "studying physics and astronomy for a decade" thing, so if your question is outside these sorts of topics in astronomy I will try my best to answer it.
In my spare time I publish a few times a year in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope and the like. List of stuff I've written is here.
Nothing to do with astronomy, but I've been to 55 countries on six continents. Exploring the universe is fun, be it galaxies far away or foreign lands!
Ok, fire when ready!
Edit: By far the most common question so far has been "I want to be an astronomer, what should I do?" My advice is study physics, math, and a smattering of programming for good measure. Plan for your doctorate. Be stubborn and do not lose sight of why you really decided you want to do this in the first place. And if you want more of a breakdown than what I can provide, here is a great overview in more detail of how to do it. Good luck!
Edit 2: You guys are great and I had a lot of fun answering your questions! But it is Saturday night in Amsterdam, and I have people to see and beer to drink. I'll be back tomorrow to answer any more questions!