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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Technique for Automated Recognition of Sunspots on Full-Disk Solar Images

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:318462

  • Received: 31 May 2004
  • Published:


A new robust technique is presented for automated identification of sunspots on full-disk white-light (WL) solar images obtained from SOHO/MDI instrument and Ca II K1 line images from the Meudon Observatory. Edge-detection methods are applied to find sunspot candidates followed by local thresholding using statistical properties of the region around sunspots. Possible initial oversegmentation of images is remedied with a median filter. The features are smoothed by using morphological closing operations and filled by applying watershed, followed by dilation operator to define regions of interest containing sunspots. A number of physical and geometrical parameters of detected sunspot features are extracted and stored in a relational database along with umbra-penumbra information in the form of pixel run-length data within a bounding rectangle. The detection results reveal very good agreement with the manual synoptic maps and a very high correlation with those produced manually by NOAA Observatory, USA.

Keywords and phrases

  • digital solar image
  • sunspots
  • local threshold
  • edge-detection
  • morphological operators
  • sunspot area time series

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Cybernetics, University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK