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The KinMS (KINematic Molecular Simulation) package can be used to simulate observations of arbitary molecular/atomic cold gas distributions.

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Documentation Status Python 3.6 PyPI version ASCL

The KinMS (KINematic Molecular Simulation) package can be used to simulate observations of arbitary molecular/atomic cold gas distributions. The routines are written with flexibility in mind, and have been used in various different applications, including investigating the kinematics of molecular gas in early-type galaxies (Davis et al, MNRAS, Volume 429, Issue 1, p.534-555, 2013), and determining supermassive black-hole masses from CO interfermetric observations (Davis et al., Nature, 2013). They are also useful for creating input datacubes for further simulation in e.g. CASA's sim_observe tool.


KinMSpy is designed with Python users in mind. Lots of work has gone into making it lightweight and fast. You can use it in the same way that you would use NumPy or Astropy etc. You can install KinMS with pip install kinms. Alternatively you can download the code, navigate to the directory you unpack it too, and run python install.

It requires the following modules:

  • numpy
  • matplotlib
  • scipy
  • astropy


A simple iPython notebook tutorial on the basics of KinMS can be found here: KinMS simple tutorial

A further suite of examples can be found in examples/, which can be modified and updated for most use cases. To run these tests you can run the following commands from within python:

from kinms.examples.KinMS_testsuite import *

To get you started fitting observations with KinMS, see the walk through here: Example fitting tutorial

NEW! If you want a really simple way to fit observations, check out the new KinMS_fitter, which wraps KinMS and automates many tasks for you! Check it out here: KinMS_fitter.

Upgrading from version 1

Unlike previous generations of KinMS, version 2.0+ uses Python classes for a more modular and adjustable experience. Plotting routines can be changed and cube modelling can be probed at different stages if required. The main change you will need if upgrading from version 1.0 is to change all calls to KinMS(...) to KinMS(...).model_cube(). The tutorial notebooks above have full details of the new features.

New non-circular motions capability

As of version 2.2.0 KinMS now has the capability to model lopsided and bisymmetric gas flows, in addition to the pure radial motions included previously. To get started with this you need to add from kinms.radial_motion import radial_motion, and then pass one of the new methods to KinMS with the radial_motion_func keyword. radial_motion.lopsided_flow and radial_motion.bisymmetric_flow both take four arguments (a radial vector, the transverse and radial velocity as a function of that radius, and an angle for the perterbation). radial_motion.pure_radial replicates previous funcationality, and requires two arguments (a radius vector, and a vector for the radial velocity as a function of radius). E.g. if previously you were passing inflowVel=inflowVel then this would now equate to radial_motion_func=radial_motion.pure_radial(radius,inflowVel).


If you find any bugs, or wish to be kept up to date when new versions of this software are released, please raise an issue here on github, or email us at DavisT -at-, Zabelnj -at-, Dawsonj5 -at-


KinMSpy is MIT-style licensed, as found in the LICENSE file.

Many thanks,

Dr Timothy A. Davis, Nikki Zabel, and James M. Dawson

Cardiff, UK

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