Distinguishing between Flaring and Non-Flaring Active Regions: A Machine Learning Perspective

Research paper by Soumitra Hazra, Gopal Sardar, Partha Choudhuri

Indexed on: 10 Mar '20Published on: 08 Mar '20Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


Large scale solar eruptions significantly impact space weather and damages space-based human infrastructures. It is necessary to predict large scale solar eruptions, which will enable us to protect our vulnerable infrastructures of modern society. We aim to investigate the difference between flaring and non-flaring active regions. We use photospheric vector magnetogram data from Solar Dynamic Observatory's Helioseismic Magnetic Imager to study the time evolution of photospheric magnetic parameters on the solar surface. We build a database of flaring and non-flaring active region observed on the solar surface from the years 2010 to 2017. We train the machine learning algorithm by the time evolution of these active region parameters. Finally, we estimate the performance obtained from this machine learning algorithm. We find the strength of some magnetic parameters namely total unsigned magnetic flux, total unsigned magnetic helicity, total unsigned vertical current and total photospheric magnetic energy density in flaring active regions are much higher compared to the non-flaring ones. These magnetic parameters in the flaring active region are highly evolving and complex. We are able to obtain good forecasting capability with a relatively high value of true skill statistic (TSS). We also find that time evolution of total unsigned magnetic helicity and total unsigned magnetic flux have very high ability to distinguish flaring and non-flaring active regions. It is possible to distinguish flaring active region from the non-flaring one with good accuracy. We confirm that there is no single common parameter which can distinguish all flaring active regions from the non flaring one. However, time evolution of top few magnetic parameters namely total unsigned magnetic flux and total unsigned magnetic helicity have very high distinguishing capability.