This page contains OUT-OF-DATE, archived data release notes for past pipeline processings. Campaigns seen here have been processed with the final version of the K2 pipeline (see news post here) and new, up-to-date release notes corresponding to the newest data are available at the nominal data release note webpage.
The notes below are kept here in case users find a need to use the old, out-of-date processed data, which is still accessible at MAST in these locations for each file type:
- Target Pixel Files: http://archive.stsci.edu/missions/k2/target_pixel_files/old_release_bundles/
- Lightcurves: http://archive.stsci.edu/missions/k2/lightcurves/old_release_tarfiles/
- CBV files: http://archive.stsci.edu/missions/k2/cbv/old_release_files/
- FFIs: http://archive.stsci.edu/missions/k2/ffi/old_release_files/
K2 Campaign 13 (Archived)
At a glance
- RA: 72.7971166 degrees
- Dec: 20.7870759 degrees
- Roll: -172.7995758 degrees
- 26,242 long cadence (LC) targets, including 21,434 standard LC stellar (or point-like) targets
- 118 short cadence (SC) targets, with 144 target definitions
- 15 moving objects were tiled with LC custom strip apertures. 33 bright stars, including Aldebaran, were assigned 40-pixel diameter LC disk apertures to capture the point spread function wings. Nine bright Hyades cluster stars were assigned 24-pixel diameter SC disk apertures. See the csv file that maps the custom aperture number to the target name.
- ktwo2017079075530-c13_ffi-cal.fits Note: only one FFI was collected during C13.
- Start Time: 2017-03-08 01:35:06 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 140878
- Short Cadence Number: 4214800
- End Time: 2017-05-27 15:44:53 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 144821
- Short Cadence Number: 4333119
Features and Events
Clusters and Star Forming Regions
The C13 field of view encompasses part of the Taurus star forming region, including the well known T-Tauri stars HL Tau (EPIC 210690913) and LkCa 15 (EPIC 247520207). The field of view also covers a portion of the Hyades star cluster along with the distant clusters NGC 1647, NGC 1746, and NGC 1817.
There are 33 galaxies targeted in the C13 field of view.
Pointing and Roll Performance
The C13 pointing and roll behavior are within the limits of that seen in other K2 campaigns for the majority of the campaign. The pipeline calculated maximum distance between the derived and nominal positions for any target (the "maximum attitude residual", or MAR) for C13 is well under the 3-pixel limit accommodated by the aperture halos, except for three periods with anomalous thruster firings. One is in the first day of the campaign lasting for 6 hours starting at 2017-03-08 17:46:06 UTC (cadence numbers 140911-140922). Two periods of anomalous pointing occur in the final five days of the campaign: 18 hours starting at 2017-05-23 12:11:44 UTC (cadence numbers 144619-144654), and 6 hours starting at 2017-05-25 11:16:28 UTC (cadence numbers 144715-144726). These anomalous thruster firing events occurring near the start and end of campaigns are suspected to be due to low fuel levels. The flight team is investigating them in an effort to understand whether they can be mitigated and how they might evolve in future campaigns.
Smear Correction Error on Channel 74
The presence of the first magnitude star Aldebaran on channel 73 led to an error in the smear correction for channel 74, which shares the same physical CCD (see figure Aldebaran). The saturated charge from Aldebaran spills over all rows of the image and into the serial register of the CCD, corrupting the first three rows of the masked smear region in the FFI. While these rows are not used for the smear correction, at times during C13 the saturation spill covered more rows in the masked smear, extending up to row 15 on channel 74 (see figure Channel 74 Trailing Black). Trailing black rows 7-18 are fit with a linear model to estimate the black (bias) level for the masked smear region.
At these times, the trailing black estimate for the masked smear signal was corrupted, resulting in a corrupted smear measurement for the affected cadences. Since the smear signal is subtracted from all the pixels in the channel, all targets on channel 74 were affected for these cadences. The impact is somewhat mitigated by background correction, but due to the non-linearity correction during calibration, a residual error remains. The effect is generally more significant for faint targets; however, users are cautioned to estimate the impact on their science of using data from the affected cadences. In addition, due to the rapidly changing background estimate, the argabrightening detector (see Kepler Data Characteristics Handbook, Sec 5.8) was triggered on channel 74 resulting in data gaps in the light curve files for some targets. Users should treat the channel specific argabrightening indicator in QUALITY and SAP_QUALITY flags with caution (bit 13, decimal=4096).
The smear corruption effects were most prominent in the first 80 cadences of the campaign and again in the period between cadence 1800-3200 (see Figure Channel 74 Trailing Black) In order to allow users to select the cadences they wish to exclude, the attached csv file c13_ch74_black_for_smear_residuals.csv contains the residual black level for the masked smear pixels after model fitting for each LC. The units of the residual signal are ADU/LC/pixel. The cadences with large negative residuals (<-200 ADU/LC/pixel) and those showing bimodal behavior are indicative of a poor model fit and a corrupted smear correction.
Data Quality and Processing Notes
Light Curve Quality
As in previous campaigns, the 6-hour spacecraft roll cycle continues to dominate the systematic errors in C13 simple aperture photometry light curves. Similar to C12, the pipeline CDPP 12th magnitude noise benchmark is 15-20% higher than what was seen in star fields of comparable star density (e.g. C4, C5). There is tentative evidence that at least part of this increase is due to the anomalous pointing excursions at the beginning and end of the campaign. In future campaigns, the processing will exclude such cadences from PDC and from the CDPP estimates.
The magnitude dependence of CDPP and its distribution over the focal
plane are shown below. Other CDPP benchmarks can be found in the
table giving 6.5-hr CDPP as a function of magnitude.
K2 Campaign 3 (Archived)
At a glance
- RA: 336.66534641439 degrees
- Dec: -11.096663792177 degrees
- Roll: -158.494818065985 degrees
- 16,375 in long cadence (LC)
- 55 in short cadence (SC)
- Several custom targets (see below)
- Time: 2014-11-15 14:06:05.515 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 99599
- Short Cadence Number: 2976430
- Time: 2015-01-23 18:37:04.488 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 102984
- Short Cadence Number: 3078009
Features and Events
Neptune moved across the field of view during C3 and K2 observed it in both long and short cadence. Short cadence data were obtained approximately 20 days either side of the stationary point of Neptune. See this time lapse movie created by Jason Rowe that clearly shows Neptune and its moons, Triton and Nereid. The custom aperture numbers associated with Neptune are 200004468--200004923. These observations were taken as part of Guest Observer Programs GO3060 (PI:Rowe) and GO3057 (PI:Gaulme).
The Trans-Neptunian Object (225088) 2007 OR10 was observed with 2 masks and given custom aperture numbers 200004466 and 200004467. This target was observed as part of Guest Observer Program GO3053 (PI:Szabo).
Campaign 3 had a nominal duration of 80 days, but an actual duration of only 69.2 days. The campaign ended earlier than expected because the on-board storage filled up faster than anticipated due to unusually poor data compression.
Data Quality and Processing Notes
Highlights of Pipeline Improvements
Campaign 3 (Data Release 5) data were the first K2 data processed with the SOC 9.3 pipeline. With this data release comes the higher-level data products. A detailed list of the pipeline developments that accompany this data release is listed on the pipeline release page. A few highlights are listed here:
- Quality flags now indicate which cadences were obtained during thruster firings.
- Background pixels were observerd and used to model the background level across the field of view. The calibrated pixels available in the target pixel files now have this background level removed.
- Simple Aperture Photometry (SAP_FLUX) and cotrended (PDCSAP_FLUX) light curves are available for long cadence data.
- The FFIs now contain a World Coordinate Solution.
Light Curve Quality
The dominant systematic present in K2 simple aperture photometry light curves is a sawtooth shape that is due to the roll of the spacecraft approximately every 6 hours. The PDC module of the Kepler Pipeline uses Principle Component Analysis to remove this signal in addition to other systematics. Below, we examine observed trends and noise levels in the PDC light curves for C3 (as measured using Data Release 5).
The short cadence light curves produced by the Kepler pipeline are inadequate for scientific research and are not being released at this time.
Reduced Noise from Change in Bandwidth
The change in bandwidth for pointing control (from 50 to 20 seconds) for C3 resulted in an increase in SNR for short cadence by a factor of roughly 4--9, with the larger improvement seen at the higher frequency end. Note, the bandwidth pointing control parameter was set to 10 seconds for the original Kepler Mission.
K2 Campaign 2 (Archived)
At a glance
- RA: 246.1264 degrees
- Dec: -22.4473 degrees
- Roll: 171.2284 degrees
- 13,399 in long cadence (LC)
- 54 in short cadence (SC)
- Several custom targets (see below)
- Time: 2014-08-23 18:27:16 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 95497
- Short Cadence Number: 2853370
- Time: 2014-11-10 13:27:43 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 99352
- Short Cadence Number: 2969049
Features and events
During C2 Kepler experienced two energetic particle events of note, likely caused by solar activity. Both events affected all channels as can be seen in the dark current metric plot for the first 26 days of C2 (see below). The first was a broad peak lasting approximately from cadence 95924 -- 96335 (01-Sep-2014 11:51:30 Z [MJD: 56901.4941] to 09-Sep-2014 21:24:55 Z [MJD: 56909.8923]). The second was a stronger more-peaked event lasting approximately from cadence 96357 -- 96551 (10-Sep-2014 17:01:54 Z [56910.7096] to 14-Sep-2014 07:20:35 Z [56914.30596]). At the peak of the 10-Sep-2014 event the average dark current increased by a factor of ~7 over the quiescent level. The GOES x-ray flux plot for this time shows an increased x-ray flux at Earth, though we don't have an independent measure of the exact timing and magnitude at the location of Kepler. The impact to the data will be in the form of increased background level, and increased photometric noise. The impact will be largest for faint targets.
Mars passed across the field of view between October 1 and October 23. See the figure below for a prediction of where Mars is on the focal plane during Campaign 2. Mars is a bright object which will saturate the CCD. Both its image and its reflection will likely contaminate nearby stars.
During the latter half of C2 we experienced a large number of parity errors coming from the photometer's local detector electronics (LDE). These LDE parity errors can occur when a very bright star saturates and spills charge into the CCD serial readout register, causing an overflow at the input to the analog-to-digital converter. While these errors were rare in Kepler, the very bright stars, or solar system planets, on the focal plane in K2 can cause frequent parity errors. For example, stars on channels 67 and 75 were the source of many of the parity errors during C2. These errors do not affect the quality of data from pixels on the active focal plane.
The LDE parity error triggers a flag (bit 15, decimal=16384) in the QUALITY column of the target pixel files. This flag is set for the majority of cadences in the second half of the campaign.
The pointing of the spacecraft was adjusted by approximately 10" on 2014-Aug-25, during cadence 95546, in order to ensure that the observed targets were centered in their masks. This event is flagged in the QUALITY column of the target pixel files with bit 1 (decimal=1). The data collected before the tweak may fall close to the edge of the collected mask and some of the object's flux may have been lost. Use these cadences with caution. Note, in Data Release 4, because of an operator error, the tweak is marked on the previous cadence, 95545.
Two Globular Clusters
The clusters M4 and M80 were observed in C2 by collecting all the pixels in 50x50 pixel masks. For M4, 16 of these custom apertures were collected and for M80, 4 were collected. The data files for M4 range from 200004370 -- 200004385. The data files for M80 range from 200004386 -- 200004389. The target pixel files may be found by using the Object Type field on the MAST K2 data search page.
Two Solar System Objects
Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) was observed by obtaining 2583, 25x1 pixel, masks across module.outputs 2.3, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. These apertures were given custom aperture numbers ranging from 200001787 -- 200004369. This target was observed as part of the Guest Observer Programs GO2030 (PI:Kelley) and GO2046 (PI:Lisse).
The Trans-Neptunian Object (268361) 2007 JJ43 was observed with 661, 11x1 or 13x1 pixel, masks and given custom aperture numbers ranging from 200001126 -- 200001786. This target was observed as part of Guest Observer Program GO2066 (PI:Schwamb).
These data sets can be found at the MAST by entering the Investigation ID on the search form. The Investigation ID matches the GO Program number that requested the observations.
EPIC Catalog Assignment
For C2, a number of targets were proposed without EPIC ID numbers. If a target was observed, it was either 1) given an EPIC ID number from the regular catalog if that target matched a target in the catalog, or 2) assigned a new EPIC ID. We created EPIC ID numbers for 69 targets, ranging from 210282492 -- 210282560.
The following is the data release history for this campaign. Follow the link for information about some of the features of the software used to reduce and export these data. There will be a new entry each time the data is released by the mission.
K2 Campaign 0 (Archived)
Campaign 0 (C0) was implemented as a full-length engineering test to prove that K2 was a viable mission. It observed sources "at risk" from a community-provided target list.
At a glance
- RA: 98.2985439 degrees
- Dec: 21.5904167 degrees
- Roll: 177.4754730 degrees
- Time: 2014-03-12 00:18:30 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 87434
- Short Cadence Number: 2611480
- Time: 2014-05-27 16:48:13 UTC
- Long Cadence Number: 91186
- Short Cadence Number: 2724069
Features and Events
Not In Fine Point Data
The second half of the C0 data is more indicative of the quality of data users should expect from K2. The Kepler spacecraft was not in fine point for the first part of C0, causing large photometric scatter. The data quality is much improved in the second half of the campaign, beginning on cadence 89347 after the safe mode, when compared to the first half of the campaign. See the QUALITY flag (bit 16) to determine when the spacecraft was in fine point.
The Kepler Spacecraft was in safe mode between cadences 88198 and 89346. Data is flagged in the QUALITY column with bit 2. The project used this time to fix large attitude errors that were occuring during resaturation events.
Module 7 Failure
Prior to the start of C0, on January 21, 2014, the photometer was autonomously powered off by an under voltage fault in the Local Detector Electronics Power Supply. Since that time, module 7 (i.e., channels 17 to 20) has yielded no star data or charge injection signal. The subsequent behavior of this module is very similar to that of module 3 after it failed on January 19, 2010. K2 continues to operate and collect simultaneous data from sources falling upon the remaining 19 detector modules over 105 square degrees. There is no indication of any accelerated degradation on these other modules.
Large Pixel Masks
When planning C0 observations, the pointing performance of K2 was not accurately known. The worst case scenario was that a star at the edge of the focal plane could move as much as 40" from its nominal position. Therefore each star was assigned a large pixel mask by first computing a Kepler-style optimal aperture and then adding 10 rings of pixels to account for a potential 40" pointing offset. During the second half of C0, the pointing performance was excellent and the pointing drifts were no more than 6" for any target star. Care will be needed when performing photometry on C0 data. Simply including all collected pixels for a given target will not create a high signal-to-noise light curve. For tools to help choose your photometric aperture, see for example, PyKE contributed software.
Because K2 points along the ecliptic, its field of view will occasionally contain bright solar system objects. Jupiter was in the K2 field of view during C0 from 2014-03-14 through 2014-05-12, but fell on dead module 3. It creates a bright antipodal ghost on module 23, channel 79, and impacts all the targets observed in this region. See the FFI ktwo2014074233223-c00, extension 79, for an image of the reflection.
While Jupiter was on the focal plane, the background level was increased over its nominal value for nearly half the channels, with the largest impact seen in channels 53 -- 84. In addition, as Jupiter moved on and off the focal plane, a specular reflection lasting approximately 6 hours was seen in these channels. The relative background levels as measured in the smear signal from channel 83 are shown below as Jupiter enters the focal plane (near cadence no. 87525) and leaves the focal plane (cadence no. 90375). The specular bump resulted in an increase in background level of 25-30% for the affected channels, while the quasi-static background increase for the time Jupiter was on the focal plane was 3-5%.
Observations of M35 and NGC 2158
The open clusters M35 (NGC 2168) and NGC 2158 were observed during this campaign by placing 154 separate 50x50 pixel masks over the densest portion of these two adjacent clusters. Each mask was given a custom aperture number to act as the unique identifier found in the file name. The target pixel files for these clusters have custom aperture numbers ranging from 200,000,811 to 200,000,964.
Data Quality and Processing Notes
Photometric Jitter Caused by Lower Bandwidth
During the development of the K2 Mission, the number of guide stars per fine-guidance sensor (FGS) was changed from ten (for Kepler) to one (for K2). This change was demanded by the need for increased aperture sizes given the uncertainties in the star-tracker to boresight alignment and the need to acquire an entirely new field-of-view every 80 to 90 days. To compensate for the increased sensor noise and assure that fine-point lock could be achieved, the attitude control bandwidth was decreased from 0.1 Hz (for Kepler) to 0.02 Hz (for K2). This change in bandwidth means that the cross-boresight attitude (i.e., RA and Dec) has a time constant of 50 seconds, comparable to the short-cadence duration. Engineering studies have shown that the photometric precision of the long-cadence data is also compromised by the larger pointing jitter associated with the lower bandwidth. The project has approved a change in bandwidth to 0.05 Hz (20 seconds) starting with Campaign 3.
Channel 10 Black Correction
The black correction on Channel 10, mod.out 4.2, has problems because a bright star bleeds into the black region. For data release 1, the affected regions of the black are excluded from the fit of the black, so the fit is poorly constrained and we see chatter in the residuals. This mostly affects stars in the last 200 rows of the channel.
Image Artifacts in K2
The thermal environment is changing more rapidly in K2 than it did for the Kepler Mission. As a result the number of channels with significant rolling band (changes in the black level that are both time and spatial dependent) is larger for K2. The channels observed to be most impacted by rolling band in C0 are 1, 2, 10, 11, 14, 25-28, 36, 44, 58, 62, 74 and 79. Other known image artifacts, such as Moiré patterns and undershoot from bright stars, are also likely to be enhanced in K2 data as compared to Kepler. See the Kepler Instrument Handbook.
Thruster Firing Flags
Since the thruster firing flags are not populated in FITS quality flags for the C0 Type-1 TPFs, they are delivered as separate long-cadence (thruster_firing_flags_c0_lc.csv) and short-cadence (thruster_firing_flags_c0_sc.csv) thruster firing tables for the C0 campaign.