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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

January 18-24: Heavy metal

Some planets are so hot that their atmospheres are filled with metals, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about rejuvenation treatments for stars, and water below the ice caps of Mars. Please join us, right here.

January 25-31: Shrinking stars

When a star like the Sun reaches the end of its life, it goes through a big change. It blows its outer layers of gas out into space, leaving behind only a hot but tiny corpse: a white dwarf. Please join us for white dwarfs and more.

February 1-7: Far-flung trees

An Apollo astronaut carried hundreds of seeds to the Moon, and many of them later grew into mighty trees — some of which are still around. Please join us for Moon trees, plus a freezing sky, an important shadow, and more.