Why So Blue?
Why is Neptune blue? New Century aerospace engineering students have been researching this mystery, along with several other planetary science objectives. During 1st semester, 21 students ranging from 10th-12th grades participated in a program called inSPIRESS. inSPIRESS stands for “Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM Students” and is facilitated by Ms. Caroline Reed with the expertise of UAH professors, Dr. Matt Turner and Dr. PJ Benfield.
Three teams of 7 students designed a payload to travel to Neptune or its moon, Triton, with the goal of researching an atmospheric objective. Along the way, part of each team has planned and conducted community engagement activities including an experiment on how the density of different juices compare to the separation of Neptune’s atmospheres. The 15-week program concluded with a competition against other regional high school teams on the campus of UAH. Team 2 won the Overall prize in their division.