Skip to main content

Time-Scale and Time-Frequency Analyses of Irregularly Sampled Astronomical Time Series


We evaluate the quality of spectral restoration in the case of irregular sampled signals in astronomy. We study in details a time-scale method leading to a global wavelet spectrum comparable to the Fourier period, and a time-frequency matching pursuit allowing us to identify the frequencies and to control the error propagation. In both cases, the signals are first resampled with a linear interpolation. Both results are compared with those obtained using Lomb's periodogram and using the weighted wavelet-transform developed in astronomy for unevenly sampled variable stars observations. These approaches are applied to simulations and to light variations of four variable stars. This leads to the conclusion that the matching pursuit is more efficient for recovering the spectral contents of a pulsating star, even with a preliminary resampling. In particular, the results are almost independent of the quality of the initial irregular sampling.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Thiebaut.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Thiebaut, C., Roques, S. Time-Scale and Time-Frequency Analyses of Irregularly Sampled Astronomical Time Series. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2005, 852587 (2005).

Download citation

Keywords and phrases

  • astronomical time series
  • irregular sampling
  • time-scale methods
  • time-frequency methods
  • wavelets
  • matching pursuit