Astronomy/Expert Profile

James Gort

On Vacation
returns 12/31/2016

Questions on observational astronomy, optics, and astrophysics. Specializing in the evolution of stars, variable stars, supernovae, neuton stars/pulsars, black holes, quasars, and cosmology.

Experience in the area

I was a professional astronomer (University of Texas, McDonald Observatory), lecturer at the Adler Planetarium, professor of astrophysics, and amateur astronomer for 42 years. I have made numerous telescopes, and I am currently building one of the largest private observatories in Canada.


StarDate, University of Texas, numerous Journal Publications

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Recent Answers from James Gort

2016-05-24 Stars:

Hi Corissa,    The answer is gravity. The same thing that keeps the earth together also keeps the stars together. But stars are gas, aren't they? Yes, but even the gas molecules are attracted to other

2016-05-19 universe expansion:

Hi Richard,    I'm not sure if that's actually been proposed in any peer-reviewed publication, but I don't see why that can't be viewed as one possible "explanation". Of course, we'd have to come up with

2016-05-14 Follow Up Question:

Hi Maria,    Humans have imagined all sorts of constellations before, but all were made up of the same stars we see today. In 1922, we adopted an "official" list of 88 constellations.    Please see https://en

2016-05-12 Stars:

Hi Maria,    No, astronomers are not very concerned with the way constellations will appear in the future, although they are very concerned with the positions of stars (and their positions do make up the

2016-05-11 Black Holes:

Hello Kaitlyn,    This is a common misconception about black holes. Black holes do not have any more gravity than any other body of the same mass!    To explain, suppose our sun suddenly collapsed to become


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