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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

November 22-28: Darting Toward an Asteroid

A new spacecraft is ready to take aim at an asteroid. And the results of its mission could help protect Earth from future asteroids. Please join us for details on the DART mission, plus the giraffe, snakes, and more.

November 29-December 5: The Milky Way

Our home galaxy is more than 13 billion years old, and we’ll explain how astronomers calculate that age. We’ll also talk about how the galaxy has changed over the eons, plus much more.

December 6-12: Moon Meanderings

The Moon passes by three bright planets in the evening sky this week, which are lined up like the planks on a picket fence, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about ways to get to the stars and much more.

December 13-19: Larger than Life

An astronomer who was born 475 years ago was one of the most accomplished in history — and one of the most colorful — and we’ll have details on both sides of his life. Please join us for that, plus the mystery of a fading star and more.

December 20-26: Shadows and Gifts

The Sun will cast its longest mid-day shadows of the year this week, and we’ll explain why. We’ll also talk about some big astronomical gifts over the decades, and much more.

December 27-January 2: A New Year

The sky offers up some heavenly views for the last night of 2021 and the first morning of 2022, and we’ll tell you what to look for. Please join me for the new year, plus planetary defense, ancient rivals, and much more, right here.