dan seaton | cycling writer & photographer, solar physicist


An EUV image of the sun's atmosphere, the corona, from SWAP onboard PROBA2

I work at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado where I am responsible for the NOAA’s GOES spacecraft.

Previously I worked at the Royal Observatory of Belgium where I served as principal investigator for the extreme-ultraviolet telescope SWAP onboard the ESA spacecraft PROBA2. SWAP is a small instrument that observes the solar corona at wavelengths near 17.4 nm, providing a view of plasma in the sun’s atmosphere at a temperature of about 1 million kelvin. This is the region of the sun where large solar eruptions, called coronal mass ejections, have their genesis. Such eruptions and the phenomena associated with them can have serious impacts on the near-Earth environment, driving space weather events that can have damaging effects both in-orbit and on the ground. See PROBA2’s Space Situational Awareness page for more information about the current space weather situation.

My research focuses primarily on the causes and drivers of large-scale eruptions on the sun, in particular, I study the process of magnetic reconnection, which releases stored magnetic energy in the solar corona and generates CMEs and solar flares.

My scientific work has appeared in the Astrophysical Journal, Solar Physics, the Physics of Plasmas, and many popular publications. My scientific talks and presentations have won international acclaim. A relatively complete listing of my published scientific work is available via NASA’s Astrophysics Data System.

For inquiries regarding my scientific work please visit my contact page.

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