Dimensionality reduction plays a crucial role in many hyperspectral data processing and analysis algorithms. This paper proposes a new mean squared error based approach to determine the signal subspace in hyperspectral imagery. The method first estimates the signal and noise correlations matrices, then it selects the subset of eigenvalues that best represents the signal subspace in the least square sense. The effectiveness of the proposed method is illustrated using simulated and real hyperspectral images.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.