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Dr Daniel Whiter

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Earth's aurora
  • Auroral acceleration and structuring mechanisms
  • Effects of auroral precipitation on the upper atmosphere

More research


Address: B46, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)


Daniel Whiter is a lecturer in Space Physics. He obtained his PhD from the University of Southampton in 2011, on the topic of rapid fine-scale aurora. He then spent four years as a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, before returning to Southampton in 2015. His work focusses on mechanisms producing structure in the aurora, and heating of the neutral upper atmosphere by auroral processes.

Dr Whiter leads the operation of the University of Southampton's state-of-the-art optical instruments located on Svalbard in the high Arctic. These instruments (imagers and a spectrograph) measure fine-scale structures in the aurora and airglow in exquisite detail. By combining such observations with results from an advanced ionospheric model we can learn a great deal about the space environment and plasma processes which produce the beautiful aurora. Recently Dr Whiter has developed new ways to measure the temperature in the upper atmosphere using the Southampton spectrograph, which are now providing exciting new insights into how the aurora heats the atmosphere.

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