TESS Software Tools

Observation planning

TESS-point Web Tool

The TESS-point Web Tool allows users to check whether a target potentially falls within the TESS field of view (FOV). In addition, the tool can be used to calculate the brightness of a target in the TESS bandpass.


This is a High Precision TESS pointing tool. It will convert target coordinates given in Right Ascension and Declination to TESS detector pixel coordinates for the first 13 TESS observing sectors (Year 1) focused on the southern ecliptic plane. It can also query MAST to obtain detector pixel coordinates for a star by TIC ID only. It provides the target ecliptic coordinates, sector number, camera number, detector number, and pixel column and row. If there is no output, then the target is not visible to TESS.

See our proposal tools page for additional resources that aid in the preparation of GI proposals.

TESS data analysis


Lightkurve is a Python-based package developed by the Kepler/K2 Guest Observer (GO) Office for use by the community to work with Kepler and K2 data. The TESS GI Office has partnered with the Kepler/K2 GO Office to develop lightkurve for use with TESS data.

Lighkurve functionality:

  • Reading, writing, and interacting with pipeline products (TPFs, LightCurve files, etc)
  • Extracting lightcurves from pixels using custom aperture photometry or custom PSF fitting.
  • Removing trends or correcting systematics using widely-used, non-controversial methods (SavGol, CBVs, SFF, ...)

The lightkurve git repository is here.


Several tutorials exist to introduce the general user to TESS data analysis.

Community tools

This list includes tools and software developed specifically for TESS data, as well as tools developed for Kepler and K2 that can be used or modified for TESS. The data formats are similar for Kepler/K2 and TESS: target pixel files (TPF) and full frame images (FFIs). Kepler and K2 had three data modes: long cadence (30 min) and short cadence (1 min) postage stamps (TPFs), and quarterly FFIs (30 min). TESS has two data modes, short cadence (2 min) postage stamps and 30 min cadence FFIs. Note that many tools are under development, and some are more robust than others. The TESS GI Office plans to update this list as new tools, software, and tutorials become available. If you have any tools you would like us to include, please contact us at tesshelp@bigbang.gsfc.nasa.gov.

Detrending and analysis

astrobase Light curve tools: periodograms (BLS, Lomb-Scargle, analysis of variance), simple detrending (fit high order polynomials), light-curve math (phase-folding, binning). Also, a server for vetting. A tutorial can be found here.
cave Crowded Aperture Variability Extraction.
EVEREST EPIC Variability Extraction and Removal for Exoplanet Science Targets; Detrending of K2 light curves.
halophot K2 Halo Photometry for very bright stars.
K2-CPM K2 Causal Pixel Model.
k2phot Routines for extracting lightcurves from K2 images.
k2photometry Read, reduce and detrend K2 photometry and search for transiting planets.
K2Pipeline Data reduction and detrending pipeline for K2 data in Matlab.
k2sc K2 systematics correction via simultaneous modelling of stellar variability and jitter-dependent systematics using Gaussian Process regression.
k2scTess TESS systematics correction via simultaneous modelling of stellar variability and jitter-dependent systematics using Gaussian Process regression.
keplersmear Make light curves from Kepler and K2 collateral data.
nutella Point spreads for Kepler/K2 inference.
OxKeplerSC Kepler jump and systematics correction using Variational Bayes and shrinkage priors.
PySysRem Correct systematic effects in large sets of photometric light curves.
skope Synthetic K2 objects for PLD experimentation.

Full frame image analysis

DIA Difference Imaging Analysis to extract a light curve from FFIs.
eleanor eleanor is an open-source python framework for downloading, analyzing, and visualizing data from the TESS Full Frame Images.
f3 Full Frame Fotometry from the Kepler Full Frame Images.
FFIorBUST Make light curves from the Kepler Full Frame Images.
Filtergraph This is the TESS full-frame-image (FFI) portal which hosts the data products from the pipeline of Oelkers & Stassun (2018).
HOTPANTS High Order Transform of PSF and Template Subtraction; Similar method, but improvement on ISIS image subtraction processing. Documentation for HOTPANTS can be found here.
ISIS Process CCD images using image subtraction.
kepcal Self calibration using the Kepler FFIs.
Lightkurve Extract light curves from FFIs, and package into TPFs.
SpyFFI Tools for simulating TESS imaging at multiple cadences, including cartoon light curves + jitter + focus drifts, cosmic rays.
TESSCut Create time series pixel cutouts from the TESS FFIs. Find out what sectors/cameras/detectors a target was observed in.

Positional tools

k2-pix Overlay a sky survey image on a K2 target pixel stamp.
k2ephem Check whether a Solar System body is (or was) observable by K2.
k2fov Check whether targets are in K2 FOV.
tess-point Provides the target ecliptic coordinates, TESS sector number, camera number, detector number, and pixel column and row.
tvguide A tool for determining whether stars and galaxies are observable by TESS.

Data handling

k2-quality-control Automated quality control of Kepler/K2 data products.
k2flix Create quicklook movies from the pixel data observed by Kepler/K2/TESS.
k2mosaic Mosaic Target Pixel Files (TPFs) obtained by Kepler/K2 into images and movies.
kadenza Converts raw cadence target data from the Kepler space telescope into FITS files.
kepFGS Tools to use the Kepler and K2 Fine Guidance Sensor data.
keputils Basic module for interaction with KOI and Kepler-stellar tables.
kplr Tools for working with Kepler data using Python.
k2plr Fork of dfm/kplr with added K2 functionality.
SuperstampFITS Create individual FITS files of K2 superstamp regions.

Planet search, modeling, and vetting

batman Fast transit light curve models in Python.
DAVE Discovery And Vetting of K2 Exoplanets.
k2ps K2 planet search.
Kepler-FLTI Kepler Prime Flux-Level Transit Injection.
kepler-robovetter The Kepler prime robovetter.
KeplerPORTS The Kepler pipeline.
ketu A search for transiting planets in K2 data.
ktransit A simple exoplanet transit modeling tool in Python.
koi-fpp False positive probabilities for all KOIs.
lcps A tool for pre-selecting light curves with possible transit signatures.
planetplanet A general photodynamical code for exoplanet light curves.
pysyzygy A fast and general planet transit (syzygy) code written in C and in Python.
PyTransit Fast and easy transit light curve modeling using Python and Fortran.
terra Transit detection code.
ttvfast-python Python interface to the TTVFast library.
VESPA Calculating false positive probabilities for transit signals.

Miscellaneous science tools

animate_spots Make frames for animated gifs/movies showing a rotating spotted star.
appaloosa Python-based flare finding code for Kepler light curves.
celerite-asteroseis Transit fitting and basic time-domain asteroseismology using celerite and ktransit.
decatur Tidal synchronization of Kepler eclipsing binaries.
EMAC The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exoplanet Modeling and Analysis Center (EMAC) serves as a repository and integration platform for modeling and analysis resources focused on the study of exoplanet characteristics and environments.
FoFreeAST Fourier-Free Asteroseismology: uses celerite to model granulation and oscillations of stars.
isochrones Pythonic stellar model grid access; easy MCMC fitting of stellar properties.
isoclassify Perform stellar classifications using isochrone grids.
kepler_orrery Make a Kepler orrery gif or movie of all the Kepler multi-planet systems.
ldtk Python toolkit for calculating stellar limb darkening profiles.
limb darkening Limb-darkening and gravity-darkening coefficients for TESS.
MulensModel Microlensing Modelling package.
PandExo A community tool for transiting exoplanets with HST & JWST.
pymacula Python wrapper for Macula analytic starspot code.
PyOrbit General toolkit for modeling radial velocity data.
radvel Simultaneously characterize the orbits of exoplanets and the noise induced by stellar activity.