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Check if a Solar System object is (or was) observable by NASA's K2 mission. This command will query JPL/Horizons to find out.

Project description

K2ephem |PyPI| |PyPI| |Travis status| |DOI|

***Checks whether a Solar System body is (or was) observable by `NASA's
K2 mission <>`__.***

`NASA's K2 mission <>`__ is using the
unique assets of the repurposed Kepler space telescope to perform
long-baseline, high-cadence, high-precision photometry of targets
selected by the community. Unlike the original Kepler mission, the loss
of two reaction wheels requires K2 to point near the ecliptic plane. As
a result, K2 can provide high-precision lightcurves for large numbers of
asteroids, comets, and (dwarf) planets.

This repository provides a command-line tool that uses the JPL/Horizons
service to check whether a Solar System body is (or was) in the
footprint of one of the past or future `K2 Campaign
fields <>`__.


You need to have a working version of Python installed. If this
requirement is met, you can install the latest stable version of
``K2ephem`` using pip:


$ pip install K2ephem

Or you can install the most recent development version from the git
repository as follows:


$ git clone
$ cd K2ephem
$ python install

The ```` script will automatically take care of installing two
required dependencies (``K2fov`` and ``pandas``).


After installation, you can call ``K2ephem`` from the command line. For
example, to verify whether comet *Chiron* can be observed by K2, simply


K2ephem Chiron

Or you can type ``K2ephem --help`` to see the detailed usage


$ K2ephem --help
usage: K2ephem [-h] [--first campaign] [--last campaign] target

Check if a Solar System object is (or was) observable by NASA's K2 mission.
This command will query JPL/Horizons to find out.

positional arguments:
target Name of the target. Must be known to JPL/Horizons.

optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
--first campaign First campaign to check (default: 0)
--last campaign Final campaign to check (default: 18)


The `JPL/Horizons <>`__ ephemeris
service allows users to predict the position of Solar System bodies in
the sky as seen from the Kepler/K2 spacecraft. This can be achieved by
entering ``@-227`` as the "Observer Location". Setting the location to
be the Kepler spacecraft is *crucial*, because Kepler is more than 0.5
AU away from the Earth!


Created by Geert Barentsen for the NASA Kepler/K2 Guest Observer Office.

If this tool aided your research, please cite it using the `DOI
identifier <>`__ or the following
BibTeX entry:


author = {Geert Barentsen},
title = {K2ephem: v1.1.1},
month = jan,
year = 2016,
doi = {10.5281/zenodo.44363},
url = {}

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