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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 New 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 41-year history. Read more »

A Fond Bon Voyage!

Sandy Wood, who became StarDate's announcer in 1991, has retired from the program for health reasons. Her last episode aired July 16, 2019. Read more »

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

October 14-20: Sending a message

A message from Earth is racing toward a nearby star — one with a planet that just might be habitable — and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a new mission to study known exoplanets. Join us for exoplanets and much more.

October 21-27: Young planets

Astronomers have been keeping a careful on a couple of young star systems that have planets, or that might be making planets, and we’ll have details. Join us for exoplanets, plus a warmer, wetter Mars and much more.

October 28-November 3: The Demon

A stellar demon highlights the Halloween sky — a star that does something that scared skywatchers for centuries. We’ll point out this “spooky” star, and explain why it’s really not spooky at all. Join us for Algol and more.