You are here

Radio’s Guide to the Universe

Billy HenryStarDate debuted in 1978, making it the longest-running national radio science feature in the country. It airs on more than 300 radio stations. It has been hosted by Billy Henry since July 2019.

StarDate tells listeners what to look for in the night sky, and explains the science, history, and skylore behind these objects. It also keeps listeners up to date on the latest research findings and space missions. And it offers tidbits on astronomy in the arts and popular culture, providing ways for people with diverse interests to keep up with the universe.

StarDate is a production of The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, which also produces the Spanish-language Universo Online web site and the bi-monthly StarDate magazine.

The Voice of StarDate

Billy Henry, a voice talent, musician, composer, and college lecturer in Austin is the third narrator of the StarDate radio program in its 42-year history. Read more »

A Fond Bon Voyage!

Sandy Wood, who became StarDate's announcer in 1991, retired from the program in 2019. Read more »

More Than 40 Years and Counting!

StarDate is radio’s longest-running nationally aired science program. It began in 1977 as a daily telephone message service by McDonald Observatory. It was picked up by Austin radio station KLBJ-FM, and aired as “Have You Seen the Stars Tonight” beginning in June 1977. With a grant from the National Science Foundation the program became “Star Date,” and began airing nationally, seven days per week, on October 1, 1978. It quickly reached more than 1,000 radio stations across the country. Read more »

Today on StarDate

June 14-20: Archaeology

Some astronomers are turning into archaeologists. They’re looking at ribbons of stars to reconstruct the history of the Milky Way Galaxy. Please join us for these galactic digs, plus a nuke for NASA and much more.

June 21-27: The Winds of Mars

Most of the time, the Martian winds are pretty calm. Sometimes, though, they can stir up trouble for craft on the surface of the Red Planet. Please join us for Martian winds, a star cluster packed with black holes, and more.

June 28-July 4: Scaring Up a Theory

Three scientists got their inspiration for a theory of the universe from an unusual source: a horror movie — and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about threats to some special nightlights and much more. Please join us.