A starlit sky decorates Google's homepage today in honor of the Mexican astronomer Guillermo Haro. The search engine's Doodle depicts an observatory and spells out the Google letters with blue and red constellations, with Haro's bespectacled face represented in the second "o".
The astronomer is best known for discovering flare stars, red and blue stars that vary in brightness, in the Orion constellation. Orion's belt, which is made up of three bright stars also known as the "Three Sisters," is often used as a guide when directing people where to look in the night sky for celestial occurrences. For example, you might be told to look just left or to the north of Orion's belt when searching for another constellation. Haro also discovered the eponymous Herbig-Haro objects, a type of planetary nebula, or bright clouds found around newly formed stars.
Haro was born in Mexico City in 1913. Much of his education took place in Mexico, but he also pursued his interest in astronomy in the U.S. at the Harvard College Observatory, and at Ohio's Case Institute of Technology. He later returned to Mexico where he continued his research at the Observatory de Tacubaya. According to his obituary from the NASA Astrophysics Data System, Haro's discoveries were not limited to stars: He also found a supernova and comet.
Haro served as the head of the astronomy institute at the University of Mexico and created Mexico's National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics to expand the country's astronomical research. With all of these achievements, it's no wonder that he became the first Mexican elected to the Royal Astronomical Society in the 1950s.
Today marks what would have been Haro's 105th birthday. He passed away in 1988, at the age of 75. Next time you look up and see Orion, think of the legendary astronomer.