Soterday| 2019-09-14 Berta Dóra Bella

NEPTUN on Earth and beyond

“Man proposes, God disposes.”

People might think of many different things when they hear the word Neptun. Neptune, the 8th planet of the Solar System. Perhaps the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman mythology. Fewer people think of a Romanian coastal town, a Ukrainian anti-ship missile, or a sailing ship, even though they all have the same name. In addition, students probably think of NEPTUN, the Unified Education System.

Neptune in mythology

One of the 12 Roman gods, he is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. Son of Saturn and brother of Jupiter and Pluto. They are the lords of the realms of Heaven and the underworld respectively, while Neptune rules over the earthly world. According to the myth, he was also the god of Atlantis, horses, and horse keeping.

Neptune in astronomy

After the discovery of Uranus, astronomers have concluded from its orbit that there is another planet in the solar system, whose gravity has a disruptive effect on Uranus’ motion. Two astronomers, Adams and Le Verrier, independently calculated the planet’s position that caused this abnormal movement. On September 23, 1846, based on these calculations, Galle discovered Neptune, which was at first named Le Verrier, and then later Neptune, because of its blue colour. Incidentally, the celestial body was already observed by Galileo in 1613, but was considered a star. In 1989, we learned more about Neptune from observations of the Voyager space probe. The Hubble Space Telescope also provided a wealth of information about the planet.

In astrology, Neptune represents the mysterious, obscure, chaotic and uncertain world. In contrast to these, it is also the planet of unselfish love and self-sacrifice.

Neptun, the town

The summer resort was established in 1972, it is located in the southeastern part of Romania, on the coast of  the Black Sea, next to the towns of Olimp and Jupiter. There is a lake system connecting Neptune and the sea.

Neptun, the weapon

It’s probably not too flattering to NEPTUN that an anti-ship missile bears the same name. In 2018, it was announced that the Neptun missile will be one of the main weapons used by the Ukrainian Navy. It is expted to be mounted on three platforms: ship, land, and air launches.

Neptun, the Unified Education System

Since the late 1990s, the rise of digitalization has also had an impact on higher education, paper-based indexes were gradually outplaced by online services. The first major program was the ETR (Egységes Tanulmányi Rendszer, Unified Education System). The ETR operated as one of the most popular education software in Hungary, allowing students to manage several affairs regarding their studies.

After further improvements to ETR, the first version of NEPTUN was released in December 1997. This system was able to handle academic, financial, and dormitory administration. The flexibility of the software lies in the fact that higher education institutions can tailor the program to their own Studies and Examination Policies.

Freshmen usually hear a lot about the uncertainty of NEPTUN by senior students. The software has been the subject of much criticism from students and educators alike. The system often collapses due to overload, especially when it is most needed.

It’s in the most communicative mood during dawn, when few people are using it. According to its operators, 50-60% of course registrations happen in the first five minutes after opening them. To avoid overcrowding, most universities have different times for registration for the different years.

Faced with these concerns many students may feel as if they were struck down by Neptune’s trident. Despite its potential faults and disadvantages, it still makes administration much easier, you don’t have to carry around an index or chase after professors to get signature…

By the end of our studies, we may already be at peace with its temperamental nature. Even if we do not like it, we can at least accept it with its good and bad qualities. It is not known why its creators decided on the name NEPTUN. One thing is for sure, it will always have something surprising in store  for us. We will not forget it easily.