Google spices up their homepage from time to time with Google Doodles representing everything from the changing seasons to important dates and cultural events. The latest Google Doodle celebrates Guillermo Haro, a Mexican astronomer who became the first Mexican elected to the Royal Astronomical Society back in 1959.
Today, March 21, marks the 105th birthday of celebrated Mexican astronomer Guillermo Haro. Perhaps most notable among this astronomer’s accomplishments in terms of science is the discovery of Herbig-Haro objects – glowing arcs and splotches of light that result from young stars creating shock waves from the high-speed jets of material they eject into surrounding jets. These Herbig-Haro objects are an important part of tracking newborn stars, and his discovery gives us greater insight into the formation of these astral bodies.
Another crowning achievement of Guillermo Haro that is celebrated with the newest Google Doodle is his place as the first Mexican astronomer added to the Royal Astronomical Society back in 1959 – a major step forward in a time where the field of science was still predominantly white.
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Google released a blog post that gave insight into why Guillermo Haro was chosen for the latest Google Doodle, saying “Haro’s legacy endures to this day through the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics, which he established to support science students in their professional careers. The institute also runs an observatory named after him in the Mexican state of Sonora…When you look up at the sky tonight, wish a very happy 105th birthday to Guillermo Haro, a star on his own right.”
By recognizing the 105th birthday of Guillermo Haro with the latest Google Doodle, the company celebrates not only the achievements of the past, but also the potential to keep growing and learning more about the world around us in the future.
The world of outer space has been a much hotter topic in recent months as SpaceX, Elon Musk’s groundbreaking private space company, took to the skies in a series of missions with success rivaling (or even surpassing) that of our own space agency. Just as Guillermo Haro proved that anyone – regardless of background or ethnicity – could contribute to the field of astronomy, SpaceX is showing that the arena of space is no longer limited to governmental agencies. With private companies beginning to make their foray into orbit and beyond, it won’t be long until we expand our horizons even further – reaching beyond these newborn stars into new frontiers such as putting a man on Mars.
Since Haro’s contribution in 1959, the field of science has become considerably more diverse – both in depth of knowledge and in the representation of minorities within previously-inaccessible fields. With more women and people of color contributing to our collective knowledge than ever before, we’re making leaps and bounds as the limitations and restrictions are lifted and more talent is being brought to light. Guillermo Haro’s accomplishments that are celebrated by the Google Doodle – while notable in their own right – are significant because it represents an early pioneer for Mexican scientists. Moving forward, we should see many more instances of a Google Doodle celebrating various people of color, as well as different nationalities and ethnicities.
Visit the Google homepage to see the latest Google Doodle and help celebrate the accomplishments of an important part of modern Astronomy. Happy Birthday, Guillermo!