[Kepler]

The Kepler Asteroseismic Science Operations Center provides asteroseismological data from the NASA Kepler mission to astronomers who are members of the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium (KASC).

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News

3rd Jan 2017: K2 campaign 10 data available

Data from campaign 10 of K2 has been made available on KASOC. The data release notes have not yet been made available, but we will provide it as soon as it is available.

Please note that there are a few unique features in the C10 data:

  • The first six days of data, dubbed C10.1, were collected with a pointing error of 3.3 pixels from the nominal field-of-view, so they were only processed through CAL to make "Type 1" target pixel files. Among other things, this means that there are no light-curves produced by the K2 Science Office.
  • The remainder of the campaign, dubbed C10.2, was processed through the entire photometry pipeline, creating "Type 2" target pixel files and long-cadence light curves.
  • Module 4 was lost part way through C10.2, which powered off the photometer and produced a 14-day data gap.

14th Dec 2016: Scheduled downtime

Tomorrow (15/12-2016) we will be doing some scheduled maintenance of our systems, so the KASOC website will be unavailable for a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

13th Dec 2016: Reprocessed data for K2 C1

Reprocessed data for K2 Campaign 1 (Data Release 14) is now available for download.

This release corrects the short cadence pixel calibration bug previously described in the Global Erratum for Kepler Q0-Q17 & K2 C0-C5 Short-Cadence Data (KSCI-19080). The new release also includes lightcurves for all long cadence data, plus improvements to the target pixel files.

Please have a careful read of the Data Release Notes.

Kepler & K2 News

8th Mar 2017: Raw data for K2 Campaign 12 and TRAPPIST-1 now available

The raw, uncalibrated data files for K2 Campaign 12 are now available for download from the data archive at MAST.

The raw files are made public straight away to aid astronomers in preparing proposals due this month to use ground-based telescopes to further investigate TRAPPIST-1. These are not the project's true data products: by late May, the routine pipeline processing of the K2 data will be completed and vetted, and the fully calibrated data made available.

We encourage our community to share their understanding of the raw data with the public by blogging or tweeting tutorials and analyses. This public TRAPPIST-1 data set offers a unique opportunity to let a wider audience witness the process scientific discovery.

The remainder of this blog post summarizes the caveats associated with the raw data, describes the availability of preliminary Target Pixel Files, and offers a quick-look at the TRAPPIST-1 light curve.

Raw data caveats

The use of the raw, uncalibrated data files requires an intimate understanding of their format and caveats. In particular:

  • the raw data are not flat-fielded, bias-subtracted, or smear-corrected;
  • cadences of poor quality, e.g. due to thruster firings, are not flagged;
  • the data are formatted in a non-standard way and require reformatting.

Moreover, during Campaign 12, a cosmic ray event reset the spacecraft's onboard software causing a five-day break in science data collection from Feb 1st through Feb 6th. The benign event is the fourth occurrence of a cosmic ray susceptibility since launch in March 2009 and the spacecraft remains healthy and operating nominally otherwise.

Pseudo Target Pixel Files

TRAPPIST-1 was observed using a 11x11 short-cadence mask with EPIC ID 200164267 from Dec 15th, 2016, through Mar 4th, 2017. To help the community explore this target, the Guest Observer Office reformatted the raw data into a pseudo Target Pixel Files using the Kadenza tool.

The files are available for download from Zenodo (DOI 10.5281/zenodo.375796):

  • Long cadence: k2-trappist1-unofficial-tpf-long-cadence.fits.gz (2 MB)
  • Short cadence: k2-trappist1-unofficial-tpf-short-cadence.fits.gz (45 MB)

Compared to traditional Target Pixel Files, the FLUX values in these files are not corrected for smear or bias, and not all header keywords are populated.

Quick look at TRAPPIST-1

A quick-look lightcurve of the long cadence data for TRAPPIST-1 reveals sinusoidal patterns due to star spots, and at least 6 planets:

The pseudo Target Pixel Files above can also be converted into movies using the k2flix tool, which shows TRAPPIST-1 to be at the center of the target mask:

Read more

7th Mar 2017: Funding available for exoplanet research through NASA's XRP

Our US-based Kepler/K2 community is being alerted to the open call for proposals to be submitted to NASA's Exoplanet Research Program (XRP). Investigations are expected to directly support the goal of understanding exoplanetary systems, by doing one or more of the following:

  • detect exoplanets and/or confirm exoplanet candidates in order to provide high-value targets for current and future NASA observatories or support NASA’s ongoing exoplanet surveys;
  • observationally characterize exoplanets, their atmospheres, or specific host star properties that directly impact our understanding of the exoplanetary system, in order to support NASA’s ongoing exoplanet surveys, inform target and operational choices for current NASA missions, or deliver targeting, operational, and formulation data for future NASA observatories;
  • understand the chemical and physical processes of exoplanets (including the state and evolution of their surfaces, interiors, and atmospheres);
  • improve understanding of the origins of exoplanetary systems.

XRP proposals are solicitated annually as part of NASA's Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) solicitation. Typical XRP funding amounts range between $60,000 to $200,000 per year, and run typically for 2-3 years.

Proposals for the 2017 call are due on Mar 30, 2017.

Quick links:

  • Exoplanet Research Program (XRP)
  • Annual ROSES solication

Read more

27th Feb 2017: K2 Campaign 16 preliminary target list available

A limitation that K2 users have faced in previous Campaigns is that simultaneous observations from the ground were only possible during challenging twilight conditions, owing to K2's strategy to observe in the backward-facing direction along its velocity vector.

This will change in Campaign 16 (Dec 2017 - Feb 2018), when K2 will observe in the forward-facing direction to enable observations in a field that can easily be accessed from Earth at the same time. This will enable K2's single-bandpass photometry to be complemented with simultaneous observations from the ground.

To help the community secure observing resources for this opportunity ahead of the upcoming proposal deadlines, the project has prepared a preliminary list of 16,000 targets which are planned to be observed during the Campaign. The list is available as a CSV file (k2c16-preliminary-target-list.csv) and contains five columns:

  • EPIC ID (empty if not in EPIC);
  • RA (decimal degrees);
  • Dec (decimal degrees);
  • Kp (magnitude);
  • Programs (pipe-delimited list of program IDs).

The list does not include short cadence mode, Solar System bodies, and custom masks (such as M67, the core of which is likely to be observed using a ~0.5°-by-0.5° super-mask).

The final list of ~25,000 targets will be available by Nov 2017 and is expected to include all targets from the preliminary list, save a small number of targets which prove to be unobservable due to falling close to the edge of the field of view.

As a reminder: Campaign 16 will run from December 7th, 2017, through February 25th, 2018. The field is located at a moderate Galactic Latitude (+35°) towards the constellation of Cancer (RA 9h, Dec +19°). The line of sight shows very low foreground extinction (Av ~0.2 mag) which makes it well-suited for extragalactic and supernova science. The field also contains the well-known clusters M44 (Beehive) and M67.

Read more

Recently published scientific publications

  • Zhao Guo: Tidally Induced Pulsations in Kepler Eclipsing Binary KIC 3230227
    Updated: Thu 23rd March 2017 09:48.
  • Kuldeep Verma: Seismic measurement of the locations of the base of convection zone and helium ionization zone for stars in the Kepler seismic LEGACY sample
    Updated: Wed 8th March 2017 11:56.
  • James M. Nemec: Metal-Rich SX Phe stars in the Kepler Field
    Updated: Wed 1st March 2017 07:53.
  • E. Plachy: First observations of W Virginis stars with K2: detection of period doubling
    Updated: Tue 14th February 2017 10:31.
  • Rhita-Maria Ouazzani: A new asteroseismic diagnostic for rotation in $\gamma$ Doradus stars
    Updated: Fri 6th January 2017 19:05.
  • Mikkel N. Lund: Asteroseismic properties of solar-type stars observed with the NASA K2 mission: results from Campaigns 1-3 and prospects for future observations
    Updated: Thu 5th January 2017 14:33.
  • Mikkel N. Lund: Asteroseismology of the Hyades with K2: first detection of main-sequence solar-like oscillations in an open cluster
    Updated: Thu 5th January 2017 14:32.

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