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 Primary Kepler Data Handbooks

Title Topics Citation Information
MAST Kepler Archive Manual Science and Engineering data file formats along with information about Kepler and K2 catalogs held at MAST. Based on the Kepler Archive Manual but reflects changes made to the MAST archive between 2016 and 2020.

Mullally, S. E. 2020, MAST Kepler Archive Manual


Kepler Instrument Handbook Details about the Kepler spacecraft and detector. Caldwell, D.A., & Van Cleve, J. E. 2016,  KSCI-19033-002
Kepler Data Characteristics Handbook Data Features and anomalies found in the photometric time series.

Van Cleve, J. E., Christiansen, J. L., Jenkins, J. M., et al. 2016,  KSCI-19040-005

Kepler Data Processing Handbook Description of the Kepler Data Processing Pipeline. Each chapter is cited separately. Edited by Jon Jenkins. Released 2020.

Kepler Data Release 25 Notes

Data release notes that apply to the Kepler data currently available at the MAST archive. See data release notes page for previous releases. Thompson, S. E., Caldwell, D. A., Jenkins, J. M., et al. 2016  KSCI-19065-002


Additional Kepler Documents

Title Topics Citation Information
Kepler Archive Manual Target pixel,  light curve file and engineering data format and contents. NASA mission archive manual from 2016. The "MAST Kepler Archive Manual" in the table above is newer and is largely preferred to cite and use over this one. Thompson, S. E., Caldwell, D. A., Jenkins, J. M., et al. 2016,  KDMC-10008-006

Data Validation Time Series File: Description of File Format and Content

An extension of the archive manual that applies to the DV time series files. DVT files are produced for Kepler Threshold Crossing Events. Thompson, S. E. 2016, KSCI-19097-001

The Kepler Certified False Positive Table

A description of the Kepler Certified False Positive Table. Bryson, S. T., Abdul-Masih, M., Batalha, N., et al. 2017 KSCI-19093-003

Fine Guidance Sensor Data

Description of the FGS data formats and content taken on frame-transfer CCDs in the corner of the Kepler field-of-view during the Kepler and K2 missions. Mighell, K. & Van Cleve, 2019 KSCI-19112-002
Kepler & K2 Ancillary Engineering Data for Science Data Analysis Description of ancillary engeering data files that contain pointing telemetry, reaction wheel speeds, and temperatures onboard the spacecraft. These parameters might correlate with flux measurements and thus could be useful in further detrending. Mighell, K. & Van Cleve, 2020 KSCI-19150-001

Commissioning Data for Measurement of the Pixel Response Function and Focal Plane Geometry

Description of the commissioning data taken in April 27-29, 2009. These data were used to construct the pixel response function and focal plane geometry. Bryson, S. T. 2017 KSCI-19100-001
Global Erratum for Kepler Q0-Q17 & K2 C0-C5 Short-Cadence Data An error was discovered in the Short Cadence data affecting approximately half of the Short Cadence observations since launch. Caldwell, D. 2016 KSCI-19080-002
Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for Science Operations Center Describes the physical processes and instrumental characteristics of the CCD data collected by Kepler, and the scientific processing applied to the measurements leading to the detection and characterization of planets in the data set. Jenkins, J., Caldwell, D. & Gilliland, R. 2004, Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for the Science Operations Center, (KSOC-21008-001)
Kepler Input Catalog: Photometric Calibration and Stellar Classification (October, 2011) Paper describing the catalog of stars used to select the Kepler targets and define their apertures. T. M. Brown, D. W. Latham, M. E. Everett, & G. A. Esquerdo, 2011, AJ, 142, 112B.

 Cadence Pixel File Formats

Format information for the cadence pixel files, the rawest, per cadence data files for Kepler and K2 data. Haas, M. 2015, KADN-26315
All Kepler Data Release Notes All Data Release Notes and supplemental information, including DR24 and DR20-DR23 (publicly available through bulk downloads) and DR2-DR19 (for historical purposes only, these versions of the data are not publicly accessible).  

Kepler Technical Notes -- Referenced in Archive Manual

Title Topics Citation Information
Selection of LDE Artifact Removal Pixels for Science Operations and Reverse-Clock Description of the Artifact Removal Pixel where were used by the pipeline to remove artifacts on a per cadence basis introduced by the Local Detector Electronics. Van Cleve, J. 2008 (KADN-26205)
Pre-launch Model of Gain and Per-pixel Linearity A description of how the gain was determined for the Kepler detector. Van Cleve, J. 2015 (KADN-26196 v2)
Pre-Launch Model of LDE Undershoot A description of the model of the undershoot, a distortion of signals with large pixel-to-pixel variation. Van Cleve, J. 2015 (KADN-26197 v2)
World Coordinate System for Target Pixel FITS Files Derived from Linearized Pipeline Motion Polynomial A description of how the world coordinate system was determined for the Kepler target pixel files. Van Cleve, J. 2010 (KADN-26285)

Kepler Data Release 25 planet search documentation

Title Topics Citation Information

Planetary Candidates Observed by Kepler. VIII.A Fully Automated Catalog with Measured Completeness and Reliability Based on Data Release 25


Paper describing the final Kepler KOI catalog and planet candidates from searching the DR25 data set with the Kepler pipeline and Robovetter.

Thompson, S.~E., Coughlin, J.~L., Hoffman, K., et al. 2018, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 235, 38. 2018ApJS..235...38T

Description of the TCERT Vetting Reports for Data Release 25

Description of the reports used by the TCE Review Team to determine if objects were false positives or planet candidates. Coughlin, J. L. 2017, Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19105-002 2017ksci.rept...15C

Planet Detection Metrics: Robovetter Completeness and Effectiveness for Data Release 25

Kepler DR25 occurrence rate documentation. Reports the completeness and effectiveness of the DR25 exoplanet vetting. Coughlin, J. L. 2017, Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19114-002 2017ksci.rept...22C

Planet Detection Metrics: Per-Target Detection Contours for Data Release 25

Kepler DR25 occurrence rate documentation. Kepler Pipeline detection contours from many injections on each target.

Burke, C. and Catanzarite, J., 2017,

Kepler Science Document,


Planet Detection Metrics: Pixel-Level Transit Injection Tests of Pipeline Detection Efficiency for Data Release 25

Kepler DR25 occurrence rate documentation.

Christiansen, J. 2017, Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19110-001


Planet Detection Metrics: Per-Target Flux-Level Transit Injection Tests of TPS for Data Release 25

Kepler DR25 occurrence rate documentation. Burke, C. & Catanzarite, J. 2017. Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19109-002 2017ksci.rept...17B

Planet Detection Metrics: Window and One-Sigma Depth Functions for Data Release 25

Kepler DR25 occurrence rate documentation. Burke, C. & Catanzarite, J. 2017. Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19101-002 2017ksci.rept...14B
Planet Detection Metrics: Statistical Bootstrap Test

Description of the statistical bootstrap metric used to evalute the Kepler TCEs.

Jenkins, J. and Burke, C. 2016. Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19086-004

Planet Detection Metrics: Automatic Detection of Background Objects Using the Centroid Robovetter Description of a metric to automatically evaluate whether a Kepler TCE comes from a background source.

Mullally, F. 2017. Kepler Science Document, KSCI-190115-001


Revised Stellar Properties of Kepler Targets for the Q1-17 (DR25) Transit Detection Run

Science paper on the stellar catalog used for DR25. Mathur, S., Huber, D., Batalha, N.~M., et al. 2017, ApJS, 229, 30. 2017ApJS..229...30M

Uniform Modeling of KOIs: MCMC Notes for Data Release 25

Description of how the transit models were calculated for DR25. Hoffman, K. & Rowe, J.

Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19113-001


Planet Reliability Metrics: Astrophysical Positional Probabilities for Data Release 25

Documentation for the Kepler Positional Probabilities Table.

Bryson, S. & Morton, T. 2017.  Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19108-001


Kepler Stellar Properties Catalog Update for Q1-Q17 DR25 Transit Search

Description of the Stellar catalog used for the Kepler DR25 planet catalog.

Mathur, S. & Huber, D. 2017. Kepler Science Document, KSCI-19097-004


NOTE: For convenience, an astrophysics data system library containing many of the documents listed on this page is available at the ADS Library of Kepler Documentation.