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Radio’s Guide to the Universe

StarDate announcer Sandy WoodStarDate 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.

Today on StarDate

May 2-8: Crossings

The little planet Mercury is getting ready to cross in front of the Sun, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about efforts to use a similar crossing to find another planet. Join us for Mercury’s transit of the Sun and much more.

May 9-15:The Great War

A hundred years ago, astronomers around the world were fighting in the Great War, although a few of them still found time for science. Join us for astronomy and World War I, plus the Moon and a giant planet.

May 16-22: Brilliant Mars

The Red Planet is putting on its best performance of the year, and we’ll tell you how to find it. We’ll also talk about the planet’s shifting skin, its lost atmosphere, and much more. Join us for the planet Mars and more.

May 23-29: Calling Cards

Most missions to the planets these days carry calling cards from Earth — everything from lists of names to custom-built Lego figurines. Join us for these trinkets from Earth, plus some disappearing stars and much more.

May 30-June 5: Golden Giant

The giant planet Saturn is at its best this week, and we’ll tell you why. We’ll also talk about the anniversary of a soft landing on the Moon. Join us for golden Saturn, Surveyor 1, and much more.