How to recover a known planet in Kepler data

This tutorial demonstrates the basic steps required to recover a transiting planet candidate in the Kepler data.

We will show how you can recover the signal of Kepler-10b, the first rocky planet that was discovered by Kepler! Kepler-10 is a Sun-like (G-type) star approximately 600 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus. In this tutorial, we will download the pixel data of Kepler-10, extract a lightcurve, and recover the planet.

Kepler pixel data is distributed in “Target Pixel Files”. You can read more about them in our tutorial here. The lightkurve package provides a KeplerTargetPixelFile class, which enables you to load and interact with data in this format.

The class can take a path (local or url), or you can load data straight from the MAST archive, which holds all of the Kepler and K2 data archive. We’ll download the Kepler-10 light curve using the from_archive function, as shown below. (Note: we’re adding the keyword ``quarter=3`` to download only the data from the third Kepler quarter. There were 17 quarters during the Kepler mission.)

In [1]:
from lightkurve import KeplerTargetPixelFile
tpf = KeplerTargetPixelFile.from_archive("Kepler-10", quarter=3)
Downloading URL to ./mastDownload/Kepler/kplr011904151_lc_Q111111110111011101/kplr011904151-2009350155506_lpd-targ.fits.gz ... [Done]

Let’s use the plot method and pass along an aperture mask and a few plotting arguments.

In [2]:

The target pixel file contains one bright star with approximately 50,000 counts.

Now, we will use the to_lightcurve method to create a simple aperture photometry lightcurve using the mask defined by the pipeline which is stored in tpf.pipeline_mask.

In [3]:
lc = tpf.to_lightcurve(aperture_mask=tpf.pipeline_mask)

Let’s take a look at the output lightcurve.

In [4]:

Now let’s use the flatten method, which applies a Savitzky-Golay filter, to remove long-term variability that we are not interested in. We’ll use the return_trend keyword so that it returns both the corrected KeplerLightCurve object and a new KeplerLightCurve object called ‘trend’. This contains only the long term variability.

In [5]:
flat, trend = lc.flatten(window_length=301, return_trend=True)

Let’s plot the trend estimated by the Savitzky-Golay filter:

In [6]:
ax = lc.plot()                         #plot() returns a matplotlib axis
trend.plot(ax, color='red');           #which we can pass to the next plot() to use the same plotting window

and the flat lightcurve:

In [7]:

Now, let’s run a period search function using the Box-Least Squares algorithm (…391..369K). We will shortly have a built in BLS implementation, but until then you can download and install it separately from lightkurve using

pip install git+

In [8]:
from transit_periodogram import transit_periodogram
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
In [9]:
periods = np.arange(0.3, 1.5, 0.0001)
durations = np.arange(0.005, 0.15, 0.001)
power, _, _, _, _, _, _ = transit_periodogram(time=flat.time,
best_fit = periods[np.argmax(power)]
In [10]:
print('Best Fit Period: {} days'.format(best_fit))
Best Fit Period: 0.8375999999999408 days
In [11]: