Heather Couper

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    David Swan

    Heather Couper has died. I fondly remember her talking about astronomy after I first took up the hobby. She made a significant contribution to public understanding of astronomy, amongst many other things no doubt. And I gather she was a former president of the BAA. Thank you, Heather.

    Neil Morrison

    Deeply sorry to learn of Heathers death.  I am sure that every on in the BAA who  knew her and Nigel  will  join with me in sending their deepest Sympathy’s to Nigel.

    John Thorpe

    Very sad news. I always loved Heather’s astronomy presentations and writings, with her huge enthusiasm and sense of humour. Deepest sympathy to Nigel.


    I’m very sorry to know that. I knew about her as an astronomy popularizer in the late 80’s in TV series.

    Rest in peace

    Dr Paul Leyland

    Alas poor Heather! I knew her, David, a woman of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

    Heather Couper and I knew each other from our Oxford days. She once gave a talk to OUAS (the Oxford University Astronomical Society) and greeted me with the phrase: “Hello Paul, my old sausage, how are you doing?”. This caused a little surprise in the people near by, one of whom asked me: “What did she just call you?”.

    She was often called “Heather Cowpat”, but never in her hearing AFAIK.

    Very sad.

    James Lancashire

    Heather was already a BAA Past President when I was at uni and venturing to London for national meetings. But she (and Nigel – the combined ‘HenCoup’) sailed over to Cambridge in my first or second year. I forget who was listed as the speaker as they were a double act!

    I recall asking Heather about both research and publishing opportunities and she advised to go freelance like them! Neither worked out though it was refreshing to hear about non-standard career thoughts.

    There were funny stories about their antics at parties and I invited them to one of the legendary CUAS river expeditions but the HenCoup punt had been decommissioned by that time. However their RSVP was full of fizz, wit and politeness – plus the expected Oxford rivalry!

    Sad to read the sad news and condolences to Nigel.

    Bill Barton

    A tribute to Heather is going to be on this afternoons BBC Radio 4 obituary programme ‘Last Word’ broadcast 16:00-16:30 Friday 21 February 2020 and available online afterwards.


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