Bayesian Analysis Of HMI Solar Image Observables And Comparison To TSI Variations And MWO Image Observables

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Daryl G Parker, Roger K Ulrich and John Beck, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States
We have previously applied the Bayesian automatic classification system AutoClass to solar magnetogram and intensity images from the 150 Foot Solar Tower at Mount Wilson to identify classes of solar surface features associated with variations in total solar irradiance (TSI) and, using those identifications, modeled TSI time series with improved accuracy (r > 0.96). (Ulrich, et al, 2010) AutoClass identifies classes by a two-step process in which it: (1) finds, without human supervision, a set of class definitions based on specified attributes of a sample of the image data pixels, such as magnetic field and intensity in the case of MWO images, and (2) applies the class definitions thus found to new data sets to identify automatically in them the classes found in the sample set.

HMI high resolution images capture four observables-magnetic field, continuum intensity, line depth and line width-in contrast to MWO's two observables-magnetic field and intensity. In this study, we apply AutoClass to the HMI observables for images from May, 2010 to June, 2014 to identify solar surface feature classes. We use contemporaneous TSI measurements to determine whether and how variations in the HMI classes are related to TSI variations and compare the characteristic statistics of the HMI classes to those found from MWO images. We also attempt to derive scale factors between the HMI and MWO magnetic and intensity observables.

The ability to categorize automatically surface features in the HMI images holds out the promise of consistent, relatively quick and manageable analysis of the large quantity of data available in these images. Given that the classes found in MWO images using AutoClass have been found to improve modeling of TSI, application of AutoClass to the more complex HMI images should enhance understanding of the physical processes at work in solar surface features and their implications for the solar-terrestrial environment.

Ulrich, R.K., Parker, D, Bertello, L. and Boyden, J. 2010, Solar Phys. , 261 , 11.