Methods for automatically downloading SPICE kernels for various objects. This is essentially a library of SPICE kernels that are available online, so users don’t have go go hunting for them. If you know a kernel is out of date, and HelioPy should be using a newer kernel please let us know at https://github.com/heliopython/heliopy/issues.

Generic kernels

These are general purpose kernels, used for most caclulations. They are all automatically loaded if you are using the heliopy.spice module.

Generic kernels
Name Identifier Kernel URL(s)
Leap Second Kernel lsk [1]
Planet trajectories planet_trajectories [1]
Planet orientations planet_orientations [1]
Heliospheric frames helio_frames [1]

Actual trajectories

These kernels store the actual trajectory of a body.

Reconstructed kernels
Name Identifier Kernel URL(s)
Helios 1 helios1 [1] [2]
Helios 2 helios2 [1]
Juno juno [1]
Parker Solar Probe psp [1]
STEREO-A stereo_a [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
Ulysses ulysses [1] [2]

Predicted trajectories

These kernels store the predicted trajectory of a body.


No guarentee is given as to the reliability of these kernels. Newer predicted trajectories may be available, or newer reconstructued (ie. actual) trajectory files may also be available.

Use at your own risk!

Predicted kernels
Name Identifier Kernel URL(s)
Bepi-Columbo bepi_pred [1]
Juno Predicted juno_pred [1]
Parker Solar Probe psp_pred [1]
Solar Orbiter 2020 solo_2020 [1]
STEREO-A stereo_a_pred [1]

Get the local location of a kernel.

If a kernel isn’t available locally, it is downloaded.

Parameters:name (str) – Kernel name. See Generic kernels and Reconstructed kernels for lists of available names. The name should be a string from the “Identifier” column of one of the tables.
Returns:List of the locations of kernels that have been downloaded.
Return type:list