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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

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.

October 3-9: Moon meanderings

The Moon passes some bright lights this week, from the Red Planet to the ringed planet, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about a cosmic invasion, some old names for old stars, and much more.

October 10-16: Faint giant

Uranus is one of the biggest planets in the solar system, but it’s so far and faint that it doesn’t get much attention. We’ll change that this week, with stories of its violent past and a shrink-wrapped moon.

October 17-23: The princess

Andromeda, the celestial princess, is home to some of the highlights of autumn skies. We’ll have details on several of them, including a giant galaxy and a colorful double star. Join us for the princess and much more.

October 24-30: The king

The constellation Cepheus soars high across the northern sky on October nights, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about its history, and about a giant star within its borders. Join us for the king and much more.

October 31: The demon

A stellar demon highlights the Halloween sky — a star that does something that scared skywatchers for centuries. We’ll point out this “spooky” star, and explain why it’s really not spooky at all. Join us for Algol and more.