A team of undergraduates from the College of Charleston recently won the “Best Science Observation” award at the Third National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition held at Montana State University.

Held in conjunction with a NASA solar mission scheduled to launch June 26, 2013, the competition called for students to design and build optical instruments to answer questions about the sun or other scientific topics.SolarSpectrograph

College of Charleston Department of Physics and Astronomy students Derek Tuck, Steve Gorman, Ryan Sullivan and Luther Meyer designed, built, and operated a spectrograph to investigate temperature differences in and near sunspots.

College of Charleston Professors Jeff Wragg and Jim Neff were the “ Team Charleston” advisers during competition.

Each member of the winning teams won a $3,000 scholarship from NASA and the opportunity to watch a launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Sixteen teams from Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, New York and Washington participated in this year’s competition.