Kepler Mission Information

Kepler Mission

The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission launched on March 6, 2009, was the first space mission dedicated to the search for Earth-sized and smaller planets in the habitable zone of other stars in our neighborhood of the galaxy. Kepler was a special-purpose spacecraft that precisely measured the light variations from thousands of distant stars, looking for planetary transits. When a planet passes in front of its parent star, as seen from our solar system, it blocks a small fraction of the light from that star; this is known as a transit. Searching for transits of distant Earths is like looking for the drop in brightness when a moth flies across a searchlight. Measuring repeated transits, all with a regular period, duration and change in brightness, provides a method for discovering planets and measuring the duration of their orbits—planets the size of Earth and smaller in the habitable zone around other stars similar to our Sun. Kepler continuously monitored over 100,000 stars similar to our Sun for brightness changes produced by planetary transits.

The Kepler Mission came to an end after four years when two of the four reaction wheels, used to point the spacecraft, ceased to function. The Kepler Mission was reborn as the K2 Mission, which ran for an additional five years.

Note: As of March 2020, all Kepler and K2 user support has been transitioned to the NASA Astrophysics archives. For details, see the Kepler/K2 News and User Support page.

Exoplanet Archive Kepler Resources

Kepler Data Product Overview Page

The Kepler project produced a wide range of data products and documentation to assist the community in using data from the mission to help study both exoplanets and other astrophsyical areas. These data range from engineering data on the detectors to lists of planet candidates and includes many of the intermediate data products in the data processing path.

The Kepler Data Product Overview page was created to provide a single location with links to all products and their documentation. There are more than 40 data products listed, which are hosted either at MAST or the NASA Exoplanet Archive.

The page is located at Kepler Data Product Overview page. There is also a downloadable PDF of the page.

The following diagram illustrates the categorization of the data products:

(Click to enlarge)

General Documentation

  Interactive Tables (Also see: How to use interactive tables) Documentation and Other Information
Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) Activity Tables

(Cumulative table only)¹

(Cumulative and Quarterly tables)²

Q1-17 DR 25

Q1-17 DR 25 Supplemental

Q1-17 DR 24





General Documentation

Purpose of KOI Tables

MCMC Posterior Chains

Threshold-Crossing Events and Data Validation

Q1-17 DR 25

Q1-17 DR 24



General documentation and links
Stellar Information for Observed Kepler Targets Search interface to interactive table:
Q1-12, Q1-16, Q1-17 DR 24, and Q1-17 DR 25
General documentation and links
Kepler, KOI Numbers and KIC Identifiers Kepler Names Table column definitions
Completeness and Reliability Products

Kepler Certified False Positive Table

Kepler Astrophysical False Positive Probabilites Table

Kepler Astrophysical Positional Probabilities Table

Completeness and Reliability home
Kepler Simulated Data The data links on this page all refer to products generated with the Kepler operational data. For links to the simulated data products, see the Kepler Simulated data page.

¹ The Cumulative table is a single tab containing a superset of KOIs from all available quarters. Use this link for faster performance when working with only the most current results.

² The combined Cumulative and Quarterly table contains KOI data for different quarters on separate tabs, as well as a superset of the data on a single tab. Use this link to access any of the quarterly activity tables (Q1-6, 1-8, 1-12 or 1-16) or to compare objects across tables.

Additional Mission Resources

Last updated: 10 February 2021