Steve Kates

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Steve Kates
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Steven Robert Kates

(1956-01-30) January 30, 1956 (age 68)
Queens, New York, U.S.

Steve Kates, aka Dr.Sky, is a radio and TV journalist based in Phoenix, Arizona.[1][2] He is the President of, a multimedia company that creates audio and video productions related to astronomy, space, aviation and weather. Kates produces a variety of educational science programs for both radio and television. He was NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador.[3][4][5][6]

Early life

Kates was born in Queens, New York. His father, Robert Kates, was a carpenter. His mother, Dolores Kates, (née Murray), was a housewife.[7] Kates was a child model and child actor.[8] He appeared in numerous television commercials.[9]

He has been interested in astronomy and space science most of his life. Kates has often stated that his passion for all-things-space was instilled in him by both of his parents when he was a young child. The “ten-dollar telescope” that his family purchased for him (when he was seven years old) enabled him to view the Moon and other celestial objects in our Solar System.

File:Clyde W. Tombaugh.jpeg|thumb|Legendary astronomer Clyde Tombaugh was one of Kates’ professors at New Mexico State University. Here he is seen at his family's farm with his homemade telescope in 1928. Kates attributes the 1966 Leonid meteor shower, viewed from the top of the tall apartment building that he and his family resided in at the time, as his first real celestial event. It was the defining inspirational moment that positively set the tone for his future interest and involvement in an ever-increasing quest for knowledge of sky-related subjects. Kates stated in a podcast interview with Jeremy Scott of PARABNORMAL that as many as 500,000 meteors per hour were visible during the early morning hours of November 17, 1966.[10][11]

In 1967, Kates and his family moved to Hackensack, New Jersey|Hackensack, New Jersey. While living there, he founded the Hackensack Astronomy Club.[7] While attending Paramus Catholic High School, Kates taught an accredited astronomy class.[9] He was also an outstanding athlete during the four years he attended Paramus. Kates taught Astronomy on radio station WFDU in Teaneck, New Jersey in 1970.[9] He also gave weekly reports on WFUV (Fordham University) and rock radio station WDHA for well over 10 years.[7] In 1973, Kates and a group of his fellow students held a large public event in New Jersey to watch Comet Kohoutek.[7]

While attending New Mexico State University in the early 1970s, Kates had the privilege to study under Professor Clyde Tombaugh the legendary astronomer who discovered Pluto on February 18, 1930. At the time of Tombaugh’s discovery, Pluto was classified as a planet. It was, however, reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. Astronomer Michael E. Brown|Mike Brown was most responsible for Pluto’s reclassification.[12]


File:Dr Sky at Sedona resort.png|thumb|“Dr. Sky” conducting a tour of the night sky at a resort in Sedona, Arizona Kates’ broadcasting career officially began while attending college. His weekly update was heard on WBAI in New York City. He also co-hosted a program (Skywatch) on that station with Robert Knight.[9] In 1982, Kates contributed astronomy and space-related content to CNN’s New York bureau.[7] He was a regular contributor of news content for WWOR-TV in New Jersey.[9]

In 1986, Kates orchestrated a widely publicized media event at High Point State Park in New Jersey to watch Halley's Comet. More than 5,000 people were in attendance.[7]

In 1988, Kates moved to Arizona. Shortly after moving there, he created a media production company known as Sky Source Productions. The company produced audio and video programs pertaining to astronomy and aerospace.[7]

Kates occasionally gives an astronomy presentation at Lost Dutchman State Park, located in the Sonoran Desert 40 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona. The park was named after the famous Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.[13]


Kates has been seen on two local Phoenix television programs for the past 15 years: KAZT-TV Daily Mix with broadcaster Pat McMahon and KSAZ-TV Arizona Morning. He shares current astronomy and space insights.[9]

Kates covered the 2017 Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017|Great American Eclipse from Rigby, Idaho. The live event was aired on KTVK|3TV in Phoenix. During the broadcast, he demonstrated ways to safely look at the eclipse.[14]


File:SOFIA ED10-0182-01 full (cropped).jpg|thumb|300px|SOFIA in flight July 16, 2013 Kates is a popular radio personality. He hosts his own long-form radio show known as The Dr. Sky Show that airs Monday-Friday on KTAR-FM in Phoenix.[15] He has been a contributor to KFYI Wake Up Arizona. He has been a regular guest of Bill Straus on the KIHP (AM)|KXAM program Straus Place.[9]

Kates is a weekly correspondent on the nationally syndicated program Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.[16] On March 28, 2017, Kates and Coast to Coast AM Producer Tom Danheiser flew on NASA's airborne observatory SOFIA.[17][18] In August 2014, Kates appeared on George Noory’s Beyond Belief program, discussing the secrets of the Universe.[19]

Kates is also a regular guest on The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis, aired on WABC (AM) in New York City.[20]


  1. Noory, George. "Tapping into the Secrets of the Universe with Dr. Sky". Gaia. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  2. "Steve Kates". Muck Rack. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. "Steve Kates Biography". Coast to Coast. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  4. Morano, Frank. "Steve Kates aka Dr. Sky 1-5-22". Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  5. "Dr. Sky". KTAR NEWS. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  6. "APOLLO 13 LIVE DISCUSSION - PRESENTED WITH DR. SKY". Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 "Steve Kates Biography".
  8. Noory, George. "Steve Kates Bio". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 "Steve Kates". PHOTORECON. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  10. Scott, Jeremy (November 3, 2018). "Dr. Sky".
  11. "Dear Naturalist: Meteors to shower the High Country".
  12. Noory, George. "Steve Kates Bio". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  13. "DR. SKY: MOON AND METEORS AT LOST DUTCHMAN STATE PARK". Arizona State Parks and Trails. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  14. "Great American Solar Eclipse 2017" – via
  15. "Dr. Sky".
  16. "Secrets of the Night Sky / Bizarre Cryptid Encounters".
  17. "Aboard the SOFIA Observatory". Coast to Coast AM.
  18. "Dr. Sky / NASA SOFIA Trailer" – via
  19. "The New Space Race with Dr. Sky".
  20. Morano, Frank. "Steve Kates (AKA Dr. Sky) 12-15-21". Retrieved 21 April 2022.

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