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Mission Overview

Kepler Bonus Aperture Light Curves ("KBONUS-APEXBA")


Primary Investigator: Jorge Martínez-Palomera

HLSP AuthorsJorge Martínez-Palomera, Christina Hedges, J. Rodriguez, G. Barentsen, and J. Dotson

Released: 2021-12-13

Updated: 2021-12-13

Primary Reference(s):  Martínez-Palomera et al. 2022 

DOI: 10.17909/t9-d5wy-e535

Citations: See ADS statistics

Read Me 


Location of masked sources plotted in sky coordinates
An example of an EXBA mask

The team performs photometry of objects observed in full EXBA masks for all Kepler's CCD channels and quarters available. An example of an EXBA mask is shown here.

Light curves of two sources
An example of two light curves

The team generates the light curves using aperture photometry estimated from the instrument's Pixel Response Function (PRF) profile computed from Kepler's full-frame images (FFIs).


NASA's Kepler mission observed background regions across its field of view for more than three consecutive years using custom-designed super apertures (EXBA masks). Since these apertures were designed to capture a region of the sky rather than single targets, the Kepler Science Data Processing pipeline produced Target Pixel Files (TPFs), but did not produce light curves for the sources within these background regions. For this data set, the team produced light curves for 9,327 sources observed in the EXBA masks. These light curves are generated using aperture photometry estimated from the instrument's Pixel Response Function (PRF) profile computed from Kepler's full-frame images (FFIs). The PRF models enable the creation of apertures that follow the characteristic shapes of the PSF in the image and the computation of flux completeness and contamination metrics.

A full description of this dataset can be found in Martinez-Palomera et al. 2022, as well as the Python library kepler-apertures that were used to extract the light curves for the EXBA sources.

Data Products

The source catalog has the following name: 


The lightcurve files have the following naming convention: 



  • <gaia_source_id> = the Gaia EDR3 source id of the object

  • <quarter> = Kepler's Quarter when the object was observed

The mask files have the following naming convention:



  • <channel> = is Kepler's CCH channel number

  • <quarter> = Kepler's quarter when the object was observed

Data file types:


The main source catalog

_lc.fits The lightcurve file

The mask file

Data Access

Lightcurves are available in the MAST Portal (web-based, cross-mission search interface) and Astroquery (Python package to search for and download files from Python scripts you write), and via the direct download table below. Set the Provenance Name filter to KBONUS-APEXBA in the Portal Advanced Search to find all or individual lightcurves. Each observation in the Portal contains a single source's lightcurve. The lightcurves can also be retrieved programmatically by using the astroquery—mast module. See the code example below for retrieving and downloading all files. The catalog and mask files are accessed only via direct download below.

from astroquery.mast import Observations
all_obs = Observations.query_criteria(provenance_name="kbonus-apexba")
data_products = Observations.get_product_list(all_obs)


  • A web-based interface for cross-mission searches of data at MAST or the Virtual Observatory
  • Search for and retrieve KBONUS-APEXBA data products programmatically.

Direct download

Files Size Description


~2 MB

Main Source Catalog


~23 GB

Light Curves


~28 MB

Mask Files



Please remember to cite the appropriate paper(s) below and the DOI if you use these data in a published work. 

Note: These HLSP data products are licensed for use under CC BY 4.0.