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Kepler Guest Observer Program

Tools - Kepler Input Catalog Overlay

Kepler Input Catalog Overlay

Users can create KIC source overlays using NASA's Skyview facility, an image display tool which provides online access to a variety of sky surveys.

To overlay KIC sources onto an image, follow these steps:

  1. Point your browser to Skyview.

  2. Click on the Sky View Query form, and enter the coordinates of your source.

  3. Select one or more image surveys to view the FOV around the selected source. The Digitized Palomar Sky Survey Two (DSS2 in the menu) red bandpass works best, as the DSS2 red response matches the Kepler photometer response quite well.

  4. For the image, select a pixel size and spatial scale. A 3 arcminute field is well suited for examining the FOV (image size 0.05 degrees).

  5. Under "Other Options", select a color table. Inverted B/W works well, as will any color table with a light colored background.

  6. Click on the "Overlays" tab. As of Nov 2011, the KIC is not yet included as one of the many catalogs which can be overlain. However, Skyview provides the ability to link to an external catalog - one maintained at another archive. Coordinates are passed to the search engine at the external archive, which returns a list of hits, which are then marked on the displayed image. To overlay the KIC, insert the following URL into the dialog box to the right of the text: "Vizier Catalog or Catalog URL: "


  7. At the bottom of the "Catalog Overlays" box you will see a check box labelled "Display ID strings". The default option has the box checked - users may wish to uncheck this box, and avoid a confusing overlay of numbers splayed on the image.

  8. The default color for the overlay symbol is often invisible (e.g., black crosses on black stars). The user can select a plot symbol color, using the "Plot Color" dialog box. The example below shows the KIC entries marked in red.

Figure 1: 3 arcmin square field within the Kepler field of view from the Digital Sky Survey Two red filter. KIC entries are marked with a red cross.

Questions concerning Kepler's science opportunities and open programs, public archive or community tools? Contact us via the email address.
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Editor: Martin Still
NASA Official: Jessie Dotson
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2013
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