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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Guido Münch

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 1989

For the last forty years he has worked in the main American and European astronomic observatories, and has participated in various space missions, especially with infra-red radiometers on NASA´s Mariner, Viking and Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft. His work has obtained fundamental astrophysical data.

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Guido Münch (San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México, 1921 -), graduated in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from the Mexican Autonomous National University, and subsequently studied his Masters in Mathematics and Doctorate in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

Professor Münch started working in the field of astrophysics with the Nobel Prizewinner R. Chandrasekhar. Since then, his research has affected various fields, being especially outstanding in the stellar atmosphere theory, stellar spectroscopy, interstellar matter, bright nebulae, galactic structure and solar physics. His research into the planetary system has provided data of great interest. From 1946 until the time of writing, Guido Münch has been an astronomer and lecturer at the observatories of Mexico, Yerkes, the California Institute of Technology, the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (Heidelberg, Germany) and the Hispano-German Astronomy Centre in Almería. He has also taken part in NASA space missions, with the Mariner, Viking and Pioneer spacecraft.

Guido Münch has published more than one hundred and twenty books and articles on his speciality. Among the most outstanding are "Las líneas de absorción interestelar en las estrellas lejanas" (1957), "La teoría de las atmósferas de modelo estelar" (1969), "Un análisis del espéctro de Marte" (1964), "La estructura galáctica y las líneas de absorción interestelar" (1965), "La estructura de la atmósfera en los planetas mayores" (1969) and "La abundancia de helio en Júpiter" (1973).

Professor Münch is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Science of the United States, and a founder-member of the Third World Academy of Sciences (Trieste, 1982). Guido Münch holds the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Merit (1968) and is an honourary professor of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. From the 17th to the 21st April 1989, the International Astronomy Union organised a special conference in his honour, which was held in the city of Granada under the title "Guido´s Jubilee".

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