Hundreds of billions of galaxies fill the cosmos, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a future merger for our own galaxy, plus merging black holes in the hearts of galaxies. Join us for galaxies and much more.
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Radio’s Guide to the Universe
StarDate debuted in 1978, making it the longest-running national radio science feature in the country. It airs on more than 300 radio stations.
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.
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
August 19-25: “Island Universes.”
August 26-September 1: Clouds
A star begins and ends its life in a cloud. It’s born from a giant cloud of gas and dust, and it makes its own cloud when it dies. Join us for these cloudy bookmarks, plus a busy cloud of middle-aged stars.
September 2-8: Forgotten giant
Neptune is the fourth-largest planet in the solar system, but it’s so far and faint that doesn’t get a lot of attention. We’ll try to remedy that this week, as the planet puts in its best showing of the year. Join us for Neptune and more.
September 9-15: Moon and meteors
The Harvest Moon lights up the night sky this week, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a summer meteor shower that’s diminished by the Moon. Join us for this and more about the night sky.
September 16-22: Time and light
Scientists are gathering in Italy to ponder the physics of time travel, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about some early attempts to measure the speed of light. Join us for time travel, lightspeed, and much more.
September 23-29: Dead stars
Millions of black holes may be scattered through our home galaxy -- the remnants of once-powerful stars -- and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about the first example of another type of dead star, plus a star that’s dying in a beautiful fashion. Join us for dead stars and more.
September 30-October 6: Moon meanderings
The Moon passes by several bright companions this week, including the two biggest planets in the solar system. And the Moon itself gets a special viewing night. Join us for the Moon, plus “death by dark matter” and much more.