Planetary scientist Sarah Hörst will answer questions Friday during Reddit AMA

Johns Hopkins University planetary scientist Sarah Hörst will conduct an online Q&A on Friday under the same virtual roof as a succession of celebrities, including President Barack Obama, actor Matt Damon, philanthropist Bill Gates, and chef/author Anthony Bourdain.

Sarah Hörst

Image caption: Sarah Hörst

She won't be on the main stage tomorrow afternoon for her Reddit AMA (short for "Ask Me Anything"), but she will be taking questions in the same arena under a sub-Reddit category reserved for science. The forum is expected to open for questions on Friday around 9 a.m.; Hörst will answer questions from 1-3 p.m.

"I'm excited to do it," said Hörst, a specialist in atmospheric chemistry who joined Johns Hopkins in 2014. "Most of my science outreach is done through Twitter, K-12 educators, or in-person events, so any time I get an opportunity to connect to a different audience, I'm especially excited to tell them about the work that my group and my scientific community do."

An assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Hörst has conducted research on the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system and on two of Saturn's 62 moons, Titan and Enceladus. Her work on the Saturn system included analyzing information gathered by the recently-concluded Cassini-Huygens mission to that giant planet.

Hörst said the American Geophysical Union, of which she is a member, asked her to do the Reddit forum as part of the organization's science communication efforts. There is no set subject—as the name suggests, participants can ask her anything.

Founded by two University of Virginia students, Reddit has averaged more than 540 million monthly visitors this year, making it the fourth most visited website in the United States and ninth most in the world, according to Alexa Internet.

Posted in Science+Technology