You are here

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.

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

January 14-20: Moon meanderings

There’s a total lunar eclipse this weekend, and we’ll have details. We’ll also explain how the Moon “meanders” around Earth, and talk about an alignment with the eye of the bull. Please join us for the Moon and much more.

January 21-27: The Milky Way

Our galactic home is a giant — a beautiful cosmic pinwheel. Because we live inside it, though, it’s hard to ferret out the details. We’ll explain how astronomers are mapping the galaxy, including its dark “halo.”

January 28-February 3: Moon meanderings

The Moon meanders by the two brightest pinpoints in the night sky this week, and we’ll have details. And we’ll talk about the Moon in the daytime sky as well. Please join us for the Moon and much more.