Image subtraction reduction of open clusters M35 & NGC 2158 in the K2 campaign 0 super stamp

M. Soares-Furtado, J. D. Hartman, G. Bakos, C. X. Huang, K. Penev, W. Bhatti

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14 Scopus citations


We observed the open clusters M35 and NGC 2158 during the initial K2 campaign (C0). Reducing these data to high-precision photometric timeseries is challenging due to the wide point-spread function (PSF) and the blending of stellar light in such dense regions. We developed an image-subtraction-based K2 reduction pipeline that is applicable to both crowded and sparse stellar fields. We applied our pipeline to the data-rich C0 K2 super stamp, containing the two open clusters, as well as to the neighboring postage stamps. In this paper, we present our image subtraction reduction pipeline and demonstrate that this technique achieves ultra-high photometric precision for sources in the C0 super stamp. We extract the raw light curves of 3960 stars taken from the UCAC4 and EPIC catalogs and de-trend them for systematic effects. We compare our photometric results with the prior reductions published in the literature. For de-trended TFA-corrected sources in the 12-12.25 Kp magnitude range, we achieve a best 6.5-hour window running rms of 35 ppm, falling to 100 ppm for fainter stars in the 14-14.25 Kp magnitude range. For stars with Kp > 14, our de-trended and 6.5-hour binned light curves achieve the highest photometric precision. Moreover, all our TFA-corrected sources have higher precision on all timescales investigated. This work represents the first published image subtraction analysis of a K2 super stamp. This method will be particularly useful for analyzing the Galactic bulge observations carried out during K2 campaign 9. The raw light curves and the final results of our de-trending processes are publicly available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044501
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number974
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • (Galaxy:) Open clusters and associations: Individual (… …)
  • Methods: Data analysis
  • Surveys
  • Techniques: Image processing
  • Techniques: Photometric


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