Principal Components and Independent Component Analysis of Solar and Space Data

Principal components analysis (PCA) and independent component analysis (ICA) are used to identify global patterns in solar and space data. PCA seeks orthogonal modes of the two-point correlation matrix constructed from a data set. It permits the identification of structures that remain coherent and correlated or that recur throughout a time series. ICA seeks for maximally independent modes and takes into account all order correlations of the data. We apply PCA to the interplanetary magnetic field polarity near 1 AU and to the 3.25R⊙ source-surface fields in the solar corona. The rotations of the two-sector structures of these systems vary together to high accuracy during the active interval of solar cycle 23. We then use PCA and ICA to hunt for preferred longitudes in northern hemisphere Carrington maps of magnetic fields.