Emilios T. Harlaftis bigraphy, stories - astrophysicist

Emilios T. Harlaftis : biography

March 19, 1965 - February 20, 2005

Emilios T. Harlaftis ( 29 March 1965, Kiato – 13 February 2005 Menalo) was an astrophysicist.

Harlaftis obtained an undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Athens in 1987, and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Oxford in 1991. From 1991 to 1995 he worked as a support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Group of telescopes of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, placed at the Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos (owned by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias at the island of La Palma. He then worked as a research assistant (1995–1997) at the University of St. Andrews and as a research fellow (1997–1998) at the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Observatory of Athens. After a series of posts as a visiting scientist at the University of Sheffield, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (1999), and two years as a temporary Reader at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St. Andrews (2001–2002) he returned to Greece where he was a tenured researcher at the Institute of Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens. He acted as a principal investigator for the Aristarchos 2.3 m Telescope located at the Chelmos mountain, which colleagues suggested to name after him, following his death in an avalanche accident.

His main research contribution is the co-discovery of spiral waves in a solar-size accretion disk, pioneering analysis determining mass ratios of black hole systems using the Keck-I telescope, contribution to accretion disc physics and finally extensive analysis and image processing using the Doppler tomography technique with applications on interactive binaries resolving emission components such as the inner face of the companion star, the gas stream and the impact region of the gas stream on the accretion disk (bright spot). The article on this topic he co-wrote has been cited 72 times.


  • Steeghs, D., Harlaftis, E. T., and Horne, K. (1997) , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 290(2):L28–L32.
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