March 21, 2018 would have been Mexican astronomer Guillermo Haro’s 105th birthday. Though Haro’s is not a household name, his contributions to astronomy make him a worthwhile individual to get to know. Born in Mexico City in 1913, he was subject to grow up during the Mexican Revolution, but that did nothing to quell his future love for discovery and the universe beyond. Nor did his initial interest in law, which disipated in favor of his more philosophical studies.
Before his passing on April 26, 1988, Dr. Haro led a life that revolved around science and philosophy, starting with his studies in philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He later turned his attention to the stars in 1943 after being hired as an assistant at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Tonantzintla (Astronomical Observatory of Tonantintla).
Contributions to Astronomy
The Mexican astronomer, dubbed the “priest of the telescope” by Alfonso Reyes, was a vital part of 20th century astronomy. Of his many contributions, Haro was responsible for discovering 8,746 different blue stars toward the north galactic pole and flare stars within the Orion nebula region.
Haro was also credited with discovering the Haro-Chavira comet with Enrique Chavira and the Herbig-Haro object with George H. Herbig. Herbig-Haro objects are formed as bright spots of emission when high-velocity material interacts with materials surrounding it. The product is an ionized gas that projects as a vibrant green and blue emission.