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Download Options
for Kepler Data and Catalogs

Besides the standard search interfaces (i.e., see the Portal or Kepler data search interfaces), Kepler light curves and Target Pixel Files may be retrieved in a number of ways as described below. Most of these options are now possible because the files themselves are all stored online in publicly-accessible directories. For a complete list of available data sets, see the Kepler Data Products page.


For individual files, both FTP and HTTP can be used to download Kepler data and catalogs. For FTP, connect to anonymously and cd to pub/kepler You will see the available directories using ls. For HTTP, just go to Examples for the browser paths to light curves and target pixel files are shown below, where KKKKKKKKK is the KIC ID and XXXX is the first 4 digits of the KIC ID including the initial zeros.

Light Curves

Target Pixel Files

Tar Files per Quarter

The light curves for each quarter are bundled into a set of tar files, each between 3-5 GB in size. These smaller tar files replaced the large tar files that had all the light curves as the large files proved to be difficult to download.
or cd /pub/kepler/lightcurves/tarfiles

There are separate tar files for long and short cadence. All light curves for each quarter are stored in a subdirectory within the master tar file directory e.g. Q0_public, Q10_public. There is a README file within each subdirectory that contains a list of the tar files for that quarter and the associated checksums and some suggestions for downloading the tar files.

There are also tarfiles for easily identified subsets of lightcurves (KOIs, Red Giants, Eclipsing Binaries) stored in subdirectories in the same location.

Tar Files per Target

In each light curve and target pixel file directory, there are also tar files that bundle the data from all Quarters for that target. There are separate tar bundles for long and short cadence data. The Q code in the tar file name is a 17-digit string that indicates how many epochs were observed in a given Quarter. For long cadence data, this is always zero or one. For short cadence data, there may be multiple epochs (stretches of observations), so the numbers can range from zero to three. Note that a target is considered observed if there is *either* an extracted lightcurve or target pixel file in that Quarter. As a quick example, Q0103... would mean this target was not observed in Quarters 0 or 2, was observed once in Quarter 1, observed three times in Quarter 3, etc."


A directory of Kepler catalogs that can be downloaded in ASCII format .
See Downloadable Catalogs
or cd /pub/kepler/lightcurves/catalogs

WGET and CURL Scripts

If your system supports Wget or Curl, there are several other options for retrieving data, which will create a shell script on your desktop computer. You may then run the script from the command line to copy the requested files directly to your computer. One advantage to using shell scripts is that large requests can be retrieved in batches simply by dividing the script into several smaller ones. Note these scripts are primarily intended for Linux, Unix, and Mac users but alternatives may exist for Windows users.

Download Existing WGET Scripts

Sets of wget scripts are available for public light curves and target pixel files. These scripts are located in the wget_scripts subdirectory of the tar files directory. Please read the README file.

Create your own CURL or WGET Scripts

We currently offer 2 methods for generating shell scripts of CURL or WGET commands. Either method will create a script file on your desktop computer that can be run to download the found files (e.g, using the sh command). We also give examples of how to create your own WGET commands.

  • Customized scripts can be created from the Kepler data search page by choosing one of the the output format options: FILE: WGET LC, FILE: WGET TPF, FILE: CURL LC or FILE: CURL TPF. Output formats can also be used in a web service request from your browser. For example, &outputformat=CURL_file&action=Search will download a script with 289 curl commands for retrieving light curves for targets with effective temperatures between 8040 and 8050 deg. Note the output format options for the web service are specified slightly differently (i.e., CURL_file, WGET_file, CURL_TPF_file, or WGET_TPF_file). See for more examples of MAST services and allowed parameters.

  • If you know what data you want, a quick way to create shell scripts is to use one of our available IDL or Python programs. These programs accept several parameters for specifying ID numbers, cadence, dates, quarters, data type, and command type. For example (assuming IDL is installed on your desktop computer),
    return all available long-cadence target pixel files for Kepler ID 7730747:
    get_kepler, '7730747', data_type="target_pixel_file".
    or return all Quarter 7 and Quarter 8 short-cadence lightcurve files for this Kepler ID:
    get_kepler, '7730747', cadence="short", quarters=['7','8'].
    A python example to retrieve TPF files for ID 7730747:
    python '7730747' -t target_pixel_file.
    Type python -h to see all the available python arguments.

  • Here are some examples of creating your own wget commands where instead of retrieving one file per command (as above), you retrieve entire directories:
    Download a whole directory of data using WGET
    wget -q -nH --cut-dirs=6 -r -l0 -c -N -np -R 'index*' -erobots=off
    wget -q -nH --cut-dirs=6 -r -l0 -c -N -np -R 'index*' -erobots=off

    You could download larger amounts by going back up the tree:
    wget -q -nH --cut-dirs=6 -r -l0 -c -N -np -R 'index*' -erobots=off
    would download all the lightcurves.

Batch Requests

If you know exactly which datasets you want, another method for retrieving data (and bypassing the search step) is to use the dataset retrieval page at The list of datasets can be entered with a space or a comma delimiter, or as an uploaded file, but they must be specified with both the Kepler ID and the timestamp of the observation in a form like: kplr000757076-2009131105131 (or with a cadence type like KPLR000757450-2011208035123;SC).

While larger requests may succeed, we recommend requesting no more than 10,000 Kepler light curves at a time in batch mode. For help, see