Astronomical images provide information about the great variety of celestial objects in the Universe, the physical processes taking place in it, and the formation and evolution of the cosmos. Great efforts are made to automatically detect stellar bodies in images due to the large volumes of data and the fact that the intensity of many sources is at the detection level of the instrument. In this paper, we review the main approaches to automated source detection. The main features of the detection algorithms are analysed and the most important techniques are classified into different strategies according to their type of image transformation and their main detection principle; at the same time their strengths and weaknesses are highlighted. A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the results of the most representative approaches is also presented.