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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

August 22-28: Galactic sunflower

One of the most beautiful galaxies around looks like a cosmic sunflower. It may owe that appearance to an act of cannibalism. Join us for the Sunflower galaxy, bits of stars on the ocean floor, and much more.

August 29-September 4: Faint giant

The giant planet Neptune is at its best this week, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about some “Neptunes” in other star systems. Join us for the planet Neptune, plus a “wimpy” dark matter particle and more.

September 5-11: Beginnings and endings

A spacecraft that’s been tagging along with a comet is about to wrap up its mission, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a mission to an asteroid that’s ready to get started. Join us for Rosetta, Osiris-Rex, and more.

September 12-18: Worlds beyond

Astronomers have discovered thousands of planets in other star systems, with the tally increasing by the month. We’ll talk about some of those discoveries, how they’re made, and their implications for life on other worlds.

September 19-25: Invaders from Mars

The man who created the Martian invasion was born 150 years ago this week, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a bright source of X-rays and the beautiful autumn skies. Join us for H.G. Wells and more.

September 26-30: Galactic halo

The Milky Way arcs high overhead on these early autumn nights, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a region of the Milky Way that extends far beyond its beautiful spiral arms. Join us for the Milky Way’s halo and more.