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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 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. 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 stations across the country. Read more »

Today on StarDate

May 29-June 4: Moving Mars

Mars is on the move this week — but slowly. It’s farthest from the Sun for the year, so it moves at its slowest. And it will slide over the top of a “hive” of angry bees. Please join us for all the details on Mars, plus much more.

June 5-11: Hot Exoplanets

Some of the planets found in other stars systems are super heated  — their temperatures can top out at thousands of degrees — and we’ll have details. Please join us for super-hot planets, a cold ocean, and much more.

June 12-18: Hot Rocks

Meteorites are some of the hottest rocks on Earth — not their temperature, but their value. And the bodies they came from could be literal gold mines for future explorers. Please join us for hot rocks and more.

June 19-25: Summertime

Summer arrives in the northern hemisphere this week, and we’ll have details. We’ll also talk about some overlooked siblings, a planet that’s been Earth’s guardian angel, and more.

June 26-July 2: In Balance

The Moon passes across Libra this week — a constellation that represents a balance in the heavens  — and we’ll have details. We’ll also tell you about a pair of planetary opposites and much more.