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James Gort

On Vacation
returns 05/02/2017

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


B.A. Physics and Astronomy M.Sc. Physics Ph.D. Astrophysics

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Recent Answers from James Gort

2016-05-07 Habitable planets within 260000 light years:

Hello Antero,    A recent study published in the "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society" ( suggest that, on average, there are 1 to 3 planets

2016-05-04 gravity:

Hi Srijan,    The answer to your question can be very involved, and I'm not sure how mathematical you'd like the answer.     For now, time is dilated (compressed) outside a non-rotating spherical mass

2015-05-17 Appearance of the MCs before gravitational distortion?:

Hi Mika,    Almost but not quite. Many speculate that the Magellanic Clouds were barred spirals before being disrupted by the Milky Way. But galactic evolution is still an area with many unanswered questions

2015-05-15 Size of the universe through the ages:

Hi Luca,    This is a very difficult question to answer, for three main reasons:  1) We don't know the current size of the universe, or even how to define "size", since it probably is not spherical and

2015-05-06 Size of the universe:

Hi Michael,    This question requires a lengthy answer. But the confusion lies, I think, in the published "distance" of 13 billion light-years away. Please read "Why the Light Travel Time Distance should


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