Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Daniel B. Seaton

Daniel B. Seaton

Research Interests

  • Magnetic reconnection and other physical processes responsible for solar eruptions and flares
  • Design, operations, and calibration of instrumentation to observe the solar corona
  • Solar image processing
  • The processes and phenomena that determine the structure of the solar atmosphere on very large scales
  • 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. I 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.

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

View Publications

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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