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Create beautiful quicklook movies from the pixel data observed by NASA's Kepler spacecraft.

Project description

*Create beautiful quicklook movies from the pixel data observed by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.*

It is good practice to inspect scientific measurements by eye before applying sophisticated data analysis algorithms. K2flix makes it easy to convert the CCD pixel data obtained by NASA’s Kepler space telescope into beautiful movies for human inspection. K2flix takes Kepler’s Target Pixel Files (TPF) as input and turns them into contrast-stretched animated gifs or MPEG-4 movies. These TPF files are publically available from the Kepler archive and the K2 archive.


Asteroids commonly pass in front of Kepler/K2 targets. How many can you spot in this example 2-day animation?

$ k2flix --start 545 --stop 680 --step 1 --fps 12\


If you have a working installation of Python on your system, you can install k2flix using pip:

$ pip install git+

Alternatively, you can clone the repository and install from source:

$ git clone
$ cd k2flix
$ python install

K2flix has only been tested under Linux at present. Get in touch if you encounter issues on OS X or Windows.

Using k2flix

Converting a Kepler pixel file to an animated gif:

$ k2flix tpf-file.fits.gz

Converting a Kepler pixel file to an MPEG-4 movie:

$ k2flix -o movie.mp4 tpf-file.fits.gz

K2flix supports reading from web URLs, so you can generate a movie directly from the data archive:

$ k2flix

To see all the options, use the --help argument to see the full usage information:

$ k2flix --help
usage: k2flix [-h] [-o filename] [--start IDX] [--stop IDX] [--step STEP]
              [--fps FPS] [--dpi DPI] [--min_percent MIN_PERCENT]
              [--max_percent MAX_PERCENT] [--cmap colormap_name]
              filename [filename ...]

Converts a Target Pixel File (TPF) from NASA's Kepler/K2 spacecraft into a
movie or animated gif.

positional arguments:
  filename              path to one or more Kepler Target Pixel Files (TPF)

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -o filename           output filename (default: gif with the same name as
                        the input file)
  --start IDX           first frame to show (default: 0)
  --stop IDX            last frame to show (default: -1)
  --step STEP           spacing between frames (default: output 100 frames)
  --fps FPS             frames per second (default: 5)
  --dpi DPI             resolution of the output in dots per K2 pixel
  --min_percent MIN_PERCENT
                        percentile value used to determine the minimum cut
                        level (default: 1.0)
  --max_percent MAX_PERCENT
                        percentile value used to determine the maximum cut
                        level (default: 95.0)
  --cmap colormap_name  matplotlib color map name (default: gray)


To report bugs and request features, please use the issue tracker. Code contributions are very welcome.


Copyright 2015 Geert Barentsen.

K2flix is free software made available under the MIT License. For details see the LICENSE file.

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