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Computer Vision for Solar Physics. Piet Martens Montana State University Center for Astrophysics. The Peta -byte Challenge. SDO Feature Finding Team. International team of solar scientists, computer scientists, and expert programmers. Module Homes

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computer vision for solar physics

Computer Vision for Solar Physics

Piet Martens

Montana State University

Center for Astrophysics

sdo feature finding team
SDO Feature Finding Team

International team of solar scientists, computer scientists, and expert programmers.

Module Homes

Harvard-Smithsonian: Flare Detective, Dimming Detector, Bright Point Detector,

EIT Waves, Polarity Inversion Line Mapping

MSU: Trainable Module

Johns Hopkins-APL: Filament Detection

Boston University: Coronal Jets

SwRI: SWAMIS: Magnetic Feature Tracking, Emerging Flux, Sunspots. CMEs

Royal Observatory of Belgium: SpoCa: Active Regions, Coronal Holes

New Mexico State: Oscillations

Academy of Athens: Sigmoids

Max Planck Lindau: NLFFF Extrapolations


Filament Tracking (Bernasconi)

Automated tracking of the origin, evolution, and disappearance (eruption) of all filaments. Outlines contours, determines chirality, tracks individual filaments, handles mergers and splitting.


sigmoid sniffer raouafi georgoulis
Sigmoid Sniffer (Raouafi, Georgoulis)

Sigmoids detected with the sigmoid sniffer in a Hinode/XRT image (left) and AIA(right, 94 A). The sigmoid sniffer is set up for both XRT and AIA images.

bright point detector saar farid
Bright Point Detector (Saar, Farid)

Bright Point Detector applied to AIA 193 image. Intensity scaling is logarithmic, detected BPs have been overlayed. Daily summary to HEK, full output in separate catalog.

coronal dimmings mwd


  • Density depletion due to an evacuation of plasma along “opened” field lines

Temperature variation

  • Good correlation with CME events: will serve as SDO CME alert
  • Plasma from dimmings makes up (at least part of) the CME mass

Coronal dimming at flux rope footpoints

Coronal dimmings/TCHs (EIT)

Coronal Dimmings (MWD)
  • Dimming is seen as a decrease in intensity in both EUV and X-ray images (e.g., Thompson et al., 1998; Sterling & Hudson, 1997).
  • First space-based observation by Skylab mission (1973-74): “Transient Coronal Holes (TCHs)”

Module developed by GemmaAttrill, Alisdair Davey and Meredith Wills-Davey (SAO). Installed in pipeline, needs calibration.

what would one use this for
What would one use this for?
  • From the FFT produced metadata, a user can produce with a few IDL line commands information that previously would have taken years to compile, e.g.:
  • Draw a butterfly diagram for active regions
  • Find all filaments that coincide with sigmoids. Correlate sigmoid handedness with filament chirality
  • Correlate EUV jets with small scale flux emergence in coronal holes only
  • Draw PIL maps with regions of high shear and large magnetic field gradients overlaid, to pinpoint potential flaring regions. Then correlate with actual flare occurrence.
  • Produce real time automated space weather alerts and Quicklook data for flares, CME’s, and flux emergence
sdo feature finding team1
SDO Feature Finding Team

International team of solar scientists, computer scientists, and expert programmers.

Team Composition

MSU: Martens (PI), Angryk, Banda*, Schuh*, Atanu*, Atreides* (trainable module)

Harvard-Smithsonian: Kasper (PM), Davey (pipeline, interfaces, hardware), Korreck (documentation, outreach), Grigis, Testa (flares), Saar, Farid* (XRBP’s), Engell* (PILs)

Lockheed-Martin: Timmons (pipeline, interfaces, HEK), Hurlburt

Johns Hopkins-APL: Bernasconi (filaments), Raouafi (sigmoids)

NASA-Marshall: Cirtain (pipeline, interfaces)

Boston University: Savcheva (jets)

SwRI:DeForest, Lamb* (magnetic feature tracking, sunspots, CMEs), Wills-Davey (dimmings, EIT Waves)

Royal Observatory of Belgium: Delouille, Mampaey, Verbeek (Spoca: AR, CHs)

New Mexico State: McAteer (oscillations)

Academy of Athens: Georgoulis (sigmoids, filaments)

Max Planck Lindau: Wiegelmann (full disk NLFFF extrapolations)