Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Daniel B. Seaton

Research Interests

  • Magnetic reconnection and other physical processes responsible for solar eruptions and flares
  • The structure, properties, and dynamics of the so-called middle corona
  • The processes and phenomena that determine the structure of the solar atmosphere on very large scales
  • Design, operations, and calibration of instrumentation to observe the solar corona
  • Solar image processing
  • Observation of the solar corona during total solar eclipses

Current Research

I am the senior scientist for solar physics in NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, leading the effort to calibrate data from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) on NOAA's GOES-R line of spacecraft and the upcoming Compact Coronagraph (CCOR) to fly on GOES-U and NOAA's Space Weather Follow-On missions. I help lead our SUVI product development efforts, and also serve as lead scientist for other solar image data products used by NOAA including observations of solar magnetic fields from the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) and the Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) on the previous line of GOES spacecraft. Sometime I talk about space weather and its origins and the solar cycle.

Using SUVI we have made some exceptionally cool observations of never before observed phenomena in the solar corona. Lately we have been exploring the use of SUVI in novel ways to study the middle corona in the extreme ultraviolet. Novel observations that can teach us about the middle corona, have become one of my primary research interests. I am the project scientist on the proposed SunCET CubeSat mission that will help us to understand coronal eruptions in this region using extreme ultraviolet observations.

Prior to joining CIRES and NCEI in Boulder, I worked at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, where I served as Principal Investigator for the SWAP solar imager on the European Space Agency's PROBA2 spacecraft. I am a Co-I for the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) on ESA's Solar Orbiter mission and ESA's formation-flying PROBA3 coronagraph mission.

My research interests include determining how to better calibrated and utilize observations of the sun's atmosphere, the solar corona, and using observations of the corona to better characterize the physical processes that shape and heat it. I am also interested in the processes that cause and drive huge eruptions on the sun that can lead to severe space weather effects in the near-Earth environment. Of particular interest is the process of magnetic reconnection, which can liberate vast amounts of energy stored in the sun's magnetic field to drive these events, which was the subject of my Ph.D. thesis and an ongoing line of research I am working on.

Since the 2017 total solar eclipse I have been a Co-I on a project to observe the solar corona from high-altitude aircraft in both visible and infrared wavelenths. Our work earned some significant media coverage, but the best story was (of course) from our local paper the Boulder Daily Camera.

You can find the SUVI data I have been working on here.

A large solar eruption and X8.2 flare captured by the Solar Ultraviolet Imager on GOES-16 on September 10, 2017.

Honors and Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award for GOES-R, 2017
  • CIRES Gold Medal for GOES-R, 2018
  • NASA Robert H. Goddard Engineering Award, for SUVI, 2020

View Publications

  • Mason, JP; Chamberlin, PC; Seaton, D; Burkepile, J; Colaninno, R; Dissauer, K; Eparvier, FG; Fan, YH; Gibson, S; Jones, AR; Kay, C; Kirk, M; Kohnert, R; Pesnell, WD; Thompson, BJ; Veronig, AM; West, MJ; Windt, D; Woods, TN (2021), SunCET: The Sun Coronal Ejection Tracker Concept. Version: 1 JOURNAL OF SPACE WEATHER AND SPACE CLIMATE 11 , Art. No. 20, issn: 2115-7251, doi: 10.1051/swsc/2021004
  • Caspi, A; Seaton, DB; Tsang, CCC; DeForest, CE; Bryans, P; DeLuca, EE; Tomczyk, S; Burkepile, JT; Casey, T; Collier, J; Darrow, D; Del Rosso, D; Durda, DD; Gallagher, PT; Golub, L; Jacyna, M; Johnson, D; Judge, PG; Klemm, C; Laurent, GT; Lewis, J; Mallini, CJ; Parent, T; Propp, T; Steffl, AJ; Warner, J; West, MJ; Wiseman, J; Yates, M; Zhukov, AN (2020), A New Facility for Airborne Solar Astronomy: NASAs WB-57 at the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Version: 1 ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 895 (2) , Art. No. 131, issn: 0004-637X, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab89a8
  • Mierla, M; Janssens, J; DHuys, E; Wauters, L; West, MJ; Seaton, DB; Berghmans, D; Podladchikova, E (2020), Long-Term Evolution of the Solar Corona Using PROBA2 Data. Version: 1 SOLAR PHYSICS 295 (5) , Art. No. 66, issn: 0038-0938, doi: 10.1007/s11207-020-01635-x
  • Hughes, JM; Hsu, VW; Seaton, DB; Bain, HM; Darnel, JM; Krista, L (2019), Real-time solar image classification: Assessing spectral, pixel-based approaches. Version: 1 JOURNAL OF SPACE WEATHER AND SPACE CLIMATE 9 , Art. No. A38, issn: 2115-7251, doi: 10.1051/swsc/2019036
  • Shestov, SV; Zhukov, AN; Seaton, DB (2019), Modeling and removal of optical ghosts in the PROBA-3/ASPIICS externally occulted solar coronagraph. Version: 1 ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS 622 , Art. No. A101, issn: 1432-0746, doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834584
  • Tadikonda, SK; Freesland, DC; Minor, RR; Seaton, DB; Comeyne, GJ; Krimchansky, A (2019), Coronal Imaging with the Solar Ultra Violet Imager. Version: 1 SOLAR PHYSICS 294 (3) , Art. No. 28, issn: 0038-0938, doi: 10.1007/s11207-019-1411-0
  • Pasachoff, JM, C Lockwood, E Meadors, R Yu, C Perez, MA Penaloza-Murillo, DB Seaton, A Voulgaris, R Dantowitz, V Rusin and T Economou (2018), Images and Spectra of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Corona From Our Oregon Site. Front. Astron. Space Sci. Version: 1 5 , Art. No. 37, issn: 2296-987X, ids: HE1KV, doi: 10.3389/fspas.2018.00037
  • Veronig, AM, T Podladchikova, K Dissauer, M Temmer, DB Seaton, D Long, JN Guo, B Vrsnak, L Harra and B Kliem (2018), Genesis and Impulsive Evolution of the 2017 September 10 Coronal Mass Ejection. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 868 (2) , Art. No. 107, issn: 0004-637X, ids: HC4AX, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaeac5
  • Redmon, RJ, DB Seaton, R Steenburgh, J He and JV Rodriguez (2018), September 2017s Geoeffective Space Weather and Impacts to Caribbean Radio Communications During Hurricane Response. Space Weather Version: 1 16 (9) 1190-1201, issn: 1542-7390, ids: GY1LL, doi: 10.1029/2018SW001897
  • Yeates, AR, T Amari, I Contopoulos, XS Feng, D Mackay, Z Mikic, T Wiegelmann, J Hutton, C Lowder, H Morgan, G Petrie, LA Rachmeler, LA Upton, A Canou, P Chopin, C Downs, M Druckmuller, JA Linker, DB Seaton and T Torok (2018), Global Non-Potential Magnetic Models of the Solar Corona During the March 2015 Eclipse. Space Sci. Rev. Version: 1 214 (5) , Art. No. UNSP 99, issn: 0038-6308, ids: GP9HH, doi: 10.1007/s11214-018-0534-1
  • Redmon, R.J., D.B. Seaton, R. Steenburgh, J. He, J.V. Rodriguez (2018), September 2017s Geoeffective Space Weather and Impacts to Caribbean. Space Weather Version: 1, doi: 10.1002/essoar.a530e85443c2d357.102532a29f074aec.1
  • Forbes, TG, DB Seaton and KK Reeves (2018), Reconnection in the Post-impulsive Phase of Solar Flares. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 858 (2) , Art. No. 70, issn: 0004-637X, ids: GF1HC, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aabad4
  • Seaton, DB and JM Darnel (2018), Observations of an Eruptive Solar Flare in the Extended EUV Solar Corona. Astrophys. J. Lett. Version: 1 852 (1) , Art. No. L9, issn: 2041-8205, ids: FR6UQ, doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/aaa28e
  • Stankov, SM, N Bergeot, D Berghmans, D Bolsee, C Bruyninx, JM Chevalier, F Clette, H De Backer, J De Keyser, E DHuys, M Dominique, JF Lemaire, J Magdalenic, C Marque, N Pereira, V Pierrard, D Sapundjiev, DB Seaton, K Stegen, R Van der Linden, TGW Verhulst and MJ West (2017), Multi-instrument observations of the solar eclipse on 20 March 2015 and its effects on the ionosphere over Belgium and Europe. J. Space Weather Space Clim. Version: 1 7 , Art. No. A19, issn: 2115-7251, ids: FE0VF, doi: 10.1051/swsc/2017017
  • Seaton, DB, AE Bartz and JM Darnel (2017), Observations of the Formation, Development, and Structure of a Current Sheet in an Eruptive Solar Flare. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 835 (2) , Art. No. 139, issn: 0004-637X, ids: EL4IV, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/139
  • DHuys, E, DB Seaton, A De Groof, D Berghmans and S Poedts (2017), Solar signatures and eruption mechanism of the August 14, 2010 coronal mass ejection (CME). J. Space Weather Space Clim. Version: 1 7 , Art. No. A7, issn: 2115-7251, ids: EN3FC, doi: 10.1051/swsc/2017006
  • Guennou, C., L. A. Rachmeler, D. B. Seaton, F. Auchere (2016), Lifecycle of a Large-Scale Polar Coronal Pseudostreamer/Cavity System. Front. Astron. Space Sci. Version: 1 3 (14) , Art. No. 14, doi: 10.3389/fspas.2016.00014
  • Ryan, DF, M Dominique, D Seaton, K Stegen and A White (2016), Effects of flare definitions on the statistics of derived flare distributions. Astron. Astrophys. Version: 1 592 , Art. No. A133, issn: 1432-0746, ids: DX9NO, doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/201628130
  • DHuys, E, D Berghmans, DB Seaton and S Poedts (2016), The Effect of Limited Sample Sizes on the Accuracy of the Estimated Scaling Parameter for Power-Law-Distributed Solar Data. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 291 (5) 1561-1576, issn: 0038-0938, ids: DR3UO, doi: 10.1007/s11207-016-0910-5
  • Pasachoff, JM, V Rusin, M Saniga, BA Babcock, M Lu, AB Davis, R Dantowitz, P Gaintatzis, JH Seiradakis, A Voulgaris, DB Seaton and K Shiota (2015), STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS OF THE 2012 NOVEMBER 13/14 ECLIPSE WHITE-LIGHT CORONA. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 800 (2) , Art. No. 90, issn: 0004-637X, ids: CB7CA, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/800/2/90
  • West, MJ and DB Seaton (2015), SWAP OBSERVATIONS OF POST-FLARE GIANT ARCHES IN THE LONG-DURATION 2014 OCTOBER 14 SOLAR ERUPTION. Astrophys. J. Lett. Version: 1 801 (1) , Art. No. L6, issn: 2041-8205, ids: CC3QB, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/801/1/L6
  • Zuccarello, FP, DB Seaton, M Mierla, S Poedts, LA Rachmeler, P Romano and F Zuccarello (2014), OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE OF TORUS INSTABILITY AS TRIGGER MECHANISM FOR CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS: THE 2011 AUGUST 4 FILAMENT ERUPTION. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 785 (2) , Art. No. 88, issn: 0004-637X, ids: AG9KA, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/785/2/88
  • Rachmeler, LA, SJ Platten, C Bethge, DB Seaton and AR Yeates (2014), OBSERVATIONS OF A HYBRID DOUBLE-STREAMER/PSEUDOSTREAMER IN THE SOLAR CORONA. Astrophys. J. Lett. Version: 1 787 (1) , Art. No. L3, issn: 2041-8205, ids: AH3PE, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/787/1/L3
  • DHuys, E, DB Seaton, S Poedts and D Berghmans (2014), OBSERVATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS WITHOUT LOW-CORONAL SIGNATURES. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 795 (1) , Art. No. 49, issn: 0004-637X, ids: AR8YN, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/795/1/49
  • Byrne, JP, H Morgan, DB Seaton, HM Bain and SR Habbal (2014), Bridging EUV and White-Light Observations to Inspect the Initiation Phase of a "Two-Stage" Solar Eruptive Event. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 289 (12) 4545-4562, issn: 0038-0938, ids: AT0FI, doi: 10.1007/s11207-014-0585-8
  • Forbes, TG, ER Priest, DB Seaton and YE Litvinenko (2013), Indeterminacy and instability in Petschek reconnection. Phys. Plasmas Version: 1 20 (5) , Art. No. 52902, issn: 1070-664X, ids: 158UU, doi: 10.1063/1.4804337
  • Mierla, M, DB Seaton, D Berghmans, I Chifu, A De Groof, B Inhester, L Rodriguez, G Stenborg and AN Zhukov (2013), Study of a Prominence Eruption using PROBA2/SWAP and STEREO/EUVI Data. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 241-253, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-012-9965-0
  • Kienreich, IW, N Muhr, AM Veronig, D Berghmans, A De Groof, M Temmer, B Vrsnak and DB Seaton (2013), Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory-A (STEREO-A) and PRoject for On-Board Autonomy 2 (PROBA2) Quadrature Observations of Reflections of Three EUV Waves from a Coronal Hole. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 201-219, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-012-0023-8
  • Chandrashekhar, K, SK Prasad, D Banerjee, B Ravindra and DB Seaton (2013), Dynamics of Coronal Bright Points as Seen by Sun Watcher Using Active Pixel System Detector and Image Processing (SWAP), Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI). Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 125-142, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-012-0046-1
  • Raftery, CL, DS Bloomfield, PT Gallagher, DB Seaton, D Berghmans and A De Groof (2013), Temperature Response of the 171 angstrom Passband of the SWAP Imager on PROBA2, with a Comparison to TRACE, SOHO, STEREO, and SDO. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 111-124, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0266-z
  • Zender, J, D Berghmans, DS Bloomfield, CC Parada, I Dammasch, A De Groof, E DHuys, M Dominique, P Gallagher, B Giordanengo, PA Higgins, JF Hochedez, MS Yalim, B Nicula, E Pylyser, L Sanchez-Duarte, G Schwehm, DB Seaton, A Stanger, K Stegen and S Willems (2013), The Projects for Onboard Autonomy (PROBA2) Science Centre: Sun Watcher Using APS Detectors and Image Processing (SWAP) and Large-Yield Radiometer (LYRA) Science Operations and Data Products. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 93-110, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-012-0033-6
  • Halain, JP, D Berghmans, DB Seaton, B Nicula, A De Groof, M Mierla, A Mazzoli, JM Defise and P Rochus (2013), The SWAP EUV Imaging Telescope. Part II: In-flight Performance and Calibration. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 67-91, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-012-0183-6
  • Seaton, DB, D Berghmans, B Nicula, JP Halain, A De Groof, T Thibert, DS Bloomfield, CL Raftery, PT Gallagher, F Auchere, JM Defise, E DHuys, JH Lecat, E Mazy, P Rochus, L Rossi, U Schuhle, V Slemzin, MS Yalim and J Zender (2013), The SWAP EUV Imaging Telescope Part I: Instrument Overview and Pre-Flight Testing. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 286 (1) 43-65, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 138OW, doi: 10.1007/s11207-012-0114-6
  • Seaton, DB, A De Groof, P Shearer, D Berghmans and B Nicula (2013), SWAP OBSERVATIONS OF THE LONG-TERM, LARGE-SCALE EVOLUTION OF THE EXTREME-ULTRAVIOLET SOLAR CORONA. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 777 (1) , Art. No. 72, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 241DT, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/777/1/72
  • BenMoussa, A, S Gissot, U Schuhle, G Del Zanna, F Auchere, S Mekaoui, AR Jones, D Walton, CJ Eyles, G Thuillier, D Seaton, IE Dammasch, G Cessateur, M Meftah, V Andretta, D Berghmans, D Bewsher, D Bolsee, L Bradley, DS Brown, PC Chamberlin, S Dewitte, LV Didkovsky, M Dominique, FG Eparvier, T Foujols, D Gillotay, B Giordanengo, JP Halain, RA Hock, A Irbah, C Jeppesen, DL Judge, M Kretzschmar, DR McMullin, B Nicula, W Schmutz, G Ucker, S Wieman, D Woodraska and TN Woods (2013), On-Orbit Degradation of Solar Instruments. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 288 (1) 389-434, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 242LK, doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0290-z
  • Dolla, L, C Marque, DB Seaton, T Van Doorsselaere, M Dominique, D Berghmans, C Cabanas, A De Groof, W Schmutz, A Verdini, MJ West, J Zender and AN Zhukov (2012), TIME DELAYS IN QUASI-PERIODIC PULSATIONS OBSERVED DURING THE X2.2 SOLAR FLARE ON 2011 FEBRUARY 15. Astrophys. J. Lett. Version: 1 749 (1) , Art. No. L16, issn: 2041-8205, ids: 917AA, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/749/1/L16
  • Murphy, NA, MP Miralles, CL Pope, JC Raymond, HD Winter, KK Reeves, DB Seaton, AA van Ballegooijen and J Lin (2012), ASYMMETRIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN SOLAR FLARE AND CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEETS. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 751 (1) , Art. No. 56, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 939MF, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/751/1/56
  • Savage, SL, G Holman, KK Reeves, DB Seaton, DE McKenzie and Y Su (2012), LOW-ALTITUDE RECONNECTION INFLOW-OUTFLOW OBSERVATIONS DURING A 2010 NOVEMBER 3 SOLAR ERUPTION. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 754 (1) , Art. No. 13, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 970EV, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/754/1/13
  • Seaton, DB, M Mierla, D Berghmans, AN Zhukov and L Dolla (2011), SWAP-SECCHI OBSERVATIONS OF A MASS-LOADING TYPE SOLAR ERUPTION. Astrophys. J. Lett. Version: 1 727 (1) , Art. No. L10, issn: 2041-8205, ids: 703QG, doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/727/1/L10
  • Pasachoff, JM, V Rusin, H Druckmullerova, M Saniga, M Lu, C Malamut, DB Seaton, L Golub, AJ Engell, SW Hill and R Lucas (2011), STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS OF THE 2010 JULY 11 ECLIPSE WHITE-LIGHT CORONA. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 734 (2) , Art. No. 114, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 774LD, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/734/2/114
  • Shugay, YS, IS Veselovsky, DB Seaton and D Berghmans (2011), Hierarchical approach to forecasting recurrent solar wind streams. Solar Syst. Res. Version: 1 45 (6) 546-556, issn: 0038-0946, ids: 850UV, doi: 10.1134/S0038094611060086
  • Gibson, SE, TA Kucera, D Rastawicki, J Dove, G De Toma, J Hao, S Hill, HS Hudson, C Marque, PS McIntosh, L Rachmeler, KK Reeves, B Schmieder, DJ Schmit, DB Seaton, AC Sterling, D Tripathi, DR Williams and M Zhang (2010), THREE-DIMENSIONAL MORPHOLOGY OF A CORONAL PROMINENCE CAVITY. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 724 (2) 1133-1146, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 679GE, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/724/2/1133
  • Seaton, DB and TG Forbes (2009), AN ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR RECONNECTION OUTFLOW JETS INCLUDING THERMAL CONDUCTION. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 701 (1) 348-359, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 475ES, doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/1/348
  • Reeves, KK, DB Seaton and TG Forbes (2008), Field line shrinkage in flares observed by the X-ray telescope on Hinode. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 675 (1) 868-874, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 268EP, doi: 10.1086/526336
  • Winebarger, AR, HP Warren and DB Seaton (2003), Evolving active region loops observed with the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer. I. Observations. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 593 (2) 1164-1173, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 712XA, doi: 10.1086/376679
  • Pasachoff, JM, BA Babcock, KD Russell and DB Seaton (2002), Short-period waves that heat the corona detected at the 1999 eclipse. Sol. Phys. Version: 1 207 (2) 241-257, issn: 0038-0938, ids: 573AG, doi: 10.1023/A:1016297800478
  • Seaton, DB and RB Partridge (2001), Possible radio afterglow of a 1989 gamma-ray burst. Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. Version: 1 113 (779) 6-9, issn: 0004-6280, ids: 386LG, doi: 10.1086/317984
  • Seaton, DB, AR Winebarger, EE DeLuca, L Golub, KK Reeves and PT Gallagher (2001), Active region transient events observed with TRACE. Astrophys. J. Version: 1 563 (2) L173-L177, issn: 0004-637X, ids: 504JF, doi: 10.1086/338737