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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

August 8-14: Skipping Away

An asteroid skipped off Earth’s atmosphere a half-century ago, creating a bright streak across the daytime sky, and we’ll have details. Please join us for a skipping asteroid, plus a meteor shower and more.

August 15-21: Wow!

A signal from the stars almost half a century ago caused a lot of excitement, which continues even today, and we’ll have details. Please join us for the “Wow!” signal, plus a busy week for the Moon and more.

August 22-28: A Swift Kick

Astronomers recently found a giant black hole that might have kicked itself out of its home galaxy, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about something that’s always in the night sky but is rarely seen.

August 29-September 4: Planets Galore

The number and variety of planets in other star systems just keeps growing, and we’ll talk about a few examples, including ocean worlds and planets without stars. Please join us for exoplanets and much more.