Sally Cooper


NSO Project Manager


I was a Pulsar Hunter at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics where I received my PhD in Radio Astronomy at the University of Manchester. My research was searching for pulsars using the world’s biggest and most advanced radio telescopes. Pulsars are dead spinning stars that are like lighthouses in the sky. Part of my research was to train computers to help identify pulsars using machine learning techniques. I am now a retired Pulsar Hunter but my superhero alter ego continues to live on.

More recently I managed several projects with a primary focus on development. I have worked with countries in Southern Africa and South America applying the translation of astronomical techniques to sustainable development in health and agriculture. I am excited to share the role of NSO Manager and hope to learn more about the optical sky and see the pictures taken by students with the NSO.

Favourite Astronomical Object

It has to be PSR J1529+4049 which is the first pulsar I discovered. To be honest, it isn’t very exciting, but it is special to me! I’m hoping to find a new favourite optical object from observations with the NSO.

About me

As a retired pulsar hunter, I love all things spinning and am part of a hula hoop group that practice and perform in Manchester. I am a big supporter of women’s football and have a season ticket for Man City Women’s team. When I get the chance I love exploring the world and seeing new places and I have been lucky that my work has taken me to interesting and wonderful places. I’m trying to think more about the impact of my traveling and so trying to keep future trips local. Although the weather is a challenge there are some great places to find nearby!

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Contact Details

You can email Sally at or phone the NSO on +44 151 231 2909.