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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

July 26-August 1: Neighborhoods

Our solar system belongs to one of the safest neighborhoods in the galaxy, and we’ll explain why. We’ll also talk about some planets that are in a dangerous neighborhood. Please join us for this and much more, right here.

August 2-8: Martian Debate

An announcement about life on Mars made 25 years ago created a scientific debate that’s not over yet. Please join us for a Martian meteorite, plus dangerous asteroids, an “astonishing” star, and much more.

August 9-15: Dangerous Neighbors

Recent observations have ruled out the possibility that a hazardous asteroid will hit Earth in the next century. But it could be a threat after that. Please join us for the asteroid Apophis, plus a potentially dangerous comet and more.

August 16-22: Anti-Stars

A tiny fraction of the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy could be made of anti-matter, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about straight lightning bolts, plus all-night visits from the bright planet Jupiter. Please join us for this and more.

August 23-29: Summertime

Summer arrives in the northern hemisphere this week — not on Earth, but on Mars — and we'll have details. We'll also talk about a star that's too bright, plus museums, statues, and more. Please join us.

August 30-September 5: Sending a Message

Astronomers beamed a message to the stars a quarter of a century ago, and we'll have details. We'll also talk about a brilliant star, a star system with many names, and much more. Please join us.