Emilios T. Harlaftis

Emilios T. Harlaftis (29 March 1965, Kiato – 13 January 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 Telescope at the La Palma site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. 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 what was at the time known as the 2.3 m Aristarchos telescope located at the Chelmos mountain, which was named after him, following his untimely death.

His main research contribution is the co-discovery of spiral waves in an 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 [1] has been cited 72 times.


[1] Steeghs, D., Harlaftis, E. T., and Horne, K. (1997) Spiral structure in the accretion disc of IP Pegasi, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 290(2):L28–L32.

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