Guillermo Haro Facts: Google Doodle Honors Mexican Astronomer On 105th Birthday

Elena Poniatowska

Astronomer Guillermo Haro, who was the first to discover several nebulae, flare stars, and supernovae in the cosmos, is honored in today's Google Doodle on what would have been his 105th birthday.

Guillermo Haro was born on March 21 in 1913. He discovered what is now known as Herbig-Haro objects, which are bright clouds that form when jets of ionized gas from young stars collide with nearby clouds and gas and dust, according to Forbes.

He was the first person elected to the Royal Astronomical Society from Mexico.

The next time you find yourself gazing at the stars, locate Orion's Belt and you may spot what catapulted Guillermo Haro to astronomy fame. Growing up during the Mexican Revolution and concerned over his country and the changes that were taking place, he made a decision to study philosophy. However, astronomer Luis Enrique Erro asked Haro to join him as his assistant at the Tonantzintla Observatory in 1942 to which, Haro agreed to cite his interest in astronomy.

This image of Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47 combines radio observations acquired with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) with much shorter wavelength visible light observations from ESO's New Technology Telescope (NTT).

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Google's homepage features artwork depicting an observatory and a red and blue star constellation that contains the Google logo and Haro's likeness.

In recent times, astronomers believe that most flare stars are dim red dwarfs; however there are some exceptions whose flares are said to be high-intensity versions of solar flares, determined to be caused by changes in the stars' magnetic fields.

He met his wife, eminent Mexican journalist Elena Poniatowska, while working at the Tonantzintla observatory in 1945. Earth's two closest neighbor, Barnard's Star and Proxima Centauri are two flare stars.

Haro discovered one supernova and one comet during his career.

Between 1943 and 1947, he went on to train at observatories in the USA, including the Harvard College Observatory and the Case Institute of Technology, embarking upon a career in astronomy. Poniatowska said in 2013 that she was drawn to his intellect. In 1959, Guillermo Haro was roped in to become the first president of Royal Astronomical Society. He received the Lomonosov Medal from the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1986. He died in 1988.


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