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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Dr Nick Cooper


Honorary Research Fellow

Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 227


I have a broad interest in astronomy from the planetary to the galactic scale, with a particular emphasis on imaging and dynamics. 

As an Imaging Team associate on the Cassini-Huygens mission since 2002, I’ve been working with my QMUL colleague Prof Carl Murray on the dynamical evolution of the rings and inner moons of Saturn. I also have active research collaborations with colleagues at NASA-JPL, the Paris Observatory, Cornell University and Jinan University (China) and have had invited positions at the Paris Observatory, University of Lille and Jinan University. My research is funded by STFC.


Undergraduate Teaching

2016-17 : Tutorials SPA4101 Our Universe

Postgraduate Teaching


  • SPA7010 The Galaxy (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : lecturer
  • SPA7020 Research Methods (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : deputy


  • SPA7010 The Galaxy (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : lecturer
  • SPA7022 Solar System (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : deputy
  • SPA7020 Research Methods (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : deputy


  • SPA7010 The Galaxy (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : lecturer


  • SPA7010 The Galaxy (MSc Astrophysics/MSci Physics) : lecturer


Research Interests:

Currently, my research is focused on studying the origin and dynamical evolution of the moons and rings of the giant planets in our solar system.

Since 2002, I have been a member of the research group headed by Prof. Carl Murray at QMUL. Our work has been centered around using the Cassini Spacecraft to image the rings and small inner satellites of Saturn in order to study their dynamical and physical evolution, with particular emphasis on Saturn's weird and wonderful F Ring. Having access to a spacecraft orbiting Saturn has given us an unprecedented opportunity to watch this system evolve in situ for almost 13 years - a sort of living laboratory. Here is a news report on some past work: Cassini-images-ring-arcs-among-saturns-moons

In addition to working as an associate on the Cassini Imaging TeamI work closely with colleagues at the IMCCE, based at both the Paris Observatory and the Lille Observatory, as well as JPL/Caltech. Together, we have an international group dedicated to using ground-based and spacecraft imaging data to constrain the dynamical timescale and internal processes of the Saturn system (


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