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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

April 12-18: “New” Stars

Sometimes, a “new” star becomes visible where no star was seen before — a nova. Such a star isn’t really new at all, though. Instead, it’s a brief rejuvenation of a “dead” star, and we’ll have details. Please join us for this and more.

April 19-25: Getting Bigger

The universe is expanding as a result of the Big Bang, and we’ll tell you how astronomers measure the expansion, and what it means for the age of the universe. Please join us for the expanding universe and more.

April 26-May 2: Galaxies Big and Small

One of the biggest galaxies yet seen is many times the size and mass of the Milky Way. The smallest galaxies, on the other hand, aren’t much brighter than some of the Milky Way’s individual stars. Please join us for galaxies and more.