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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

October 18-24: The View from Space

NASA is getting ready to launch two space telescopes – including the biggest and most expensive one ever built – and we’ll have details. Please join us for space telescopes, plus a disappointing meteor shower and more.

October 25-31: A “Snarling” Star

One of our closest neighboring stars is tiny, faint — and busy: It produces outbursts of energy that are far more powerful than anything ever seen from the Sun. Please join us for Wolf 359, the “evening star” and more.

November 1-7: Changing Sun

Our star, the Sun, has lost some weight since it was born, yet it’s bigger and brighter. We’ll sort it out for you. We’ll also have details on a weight-loss plan, magnetic tornadoes, and much more.

November 8-14: Going Visiting

We’ll cruise through the solar system this week, focusing on an asteroid that’s paying a visit to Earth, plans to visit the south pole of the Moon, and the hardships of visiting the largest planet.

November 15-21: Seeing Shadows

The Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow this week, creating an eclipse, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about how seeing the shadow in earlier eclipses helped prove that Earth isn’t flat. Please join us for eclipses and more.

November 22-28: Darting Toward an Asteroid

A new spacecraft is ready to take aim at an asteroid. And the results of its mission could help protect Earth from future asteroids. Please join us for details on the DART mission, plus the giraffe, snakes, and more.

November 29-December 5: The Milky Way

Our home galaxy is more than 13 billion years old, and we’ll explain how astronomers calculate that age. We’ll also talk about how the galaxy has changed over the eons, plus much more.