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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 14-20: “Trapping” planets

The star known as Trappist-1 is one of the most feeble in the galaxy. Yet it’s home to one of the most intriguing system of planets yet seen. Please join us for the worlds of Trappist-1, plus the fox and goose and more.

September 21-27: Moons galore

A recent study says there are several ways for planets to get moons, and we’ll have details. We’ll also tell you how the biggest moon of Saturn is on the move, and about pieces of our own Moon here on Earth. Please join us for moons and more.

September 28-October 4: Going deep

Scientists and engineers are pondering missions that would go farther than any spacecraft has ever gone before: to interstellar space, and to the nearest star. Please join us for missions to deep space and more, right here.