Separating active regions that are quiet from potentially eruptive ones is a key issue in Space Weather applications. Traditional classification schemes such as Mount Wilson and McIntosh have been effective in relating an active region large scale magnetic configuration to its ability to produce eruptive events. However, their qualitative nature prevents systematic studies of an active region’s evolution for example. We introduce a new clustering of active regions that is based on the local geometry observed in Line of Sight magnetogram and continuum images. We use a reduced-dimension representation of an active region that is obtained by factoring (i.e. applying dictionary learning to) the corresponding data matrix comprised of local image patches. Two factorizations can be compared via the definition of appropriate metrics on the resulting factors. The distances obtained from these metrics are then used to cluster the active regions. We find that these metrics result in natural clusterings of active regions. The clusterings are related to large scale descriptors of an active region such as its size, its local magnetic field distribution, and its complexity as measured by the Mount Wilson classification scheme. We also find that including data focused on the neutral line of an active region can result in an increased correspondence between the Mount Wilson classifications and our clustering results. We provide some recommendations for which metrics and matrix factorization techniques to use to study small, large, complex, or simple active regions.
K. Moon, V. Delouille, J. Li, et. al.
Mon, 13 Apr 15
Comments: 31 pages, 15 figures