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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 New 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 41-year history. Read more »

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

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.