The International Astronomy Olympiad

Since 1996

XXI International Astronomy Olympiad
Pamporovo-Smolyan, Bulgara, October 5-13, 2016.

XXI Международная астрономическая олимпиада
Пампоров-Смолян, Болгария, 5-13 октября 2016 г.


Syllabus paradigm

Composition of the problems for IAO is based on the previous practice, i.e. it is similar to the precedential doctrine of jurisprudence constante.

Particularly, it includes the following general notes:

  • Basic concepts in physics and mathematics at high school level are required for solving the problems. Standard solutions do not require using differential or integral calculus, complex numbers, spherical trigonometry.
    Nevertheless, using these methods by contestants is not forbidden
    (if other conditions are not postulated in the actual problem’s situation).
  • Most data is excluded from the problem situation. Contestants are be provided with various tables of supplementary data that may be used in solution of any problem.
  • Texts of problems use appropriate units usually used in astronomy and physics science, and participants are expected to use appropriate units in their answers as well (and not only the SI system).
  • Participants are expected to use correct rounding off and expressing the final results with correct number of significant digits.
  • Solutions of the problems with the terms or designations that have more than one international definition (like zero point for azimuths, sign of equation of time, limit degrees for civil twilight, dot or comma digit separators, etc.) will be considered correct for both (or more than two) definitions (if actual designation was not postulated in the problem’s situation).
    The same concerns the problems with disputed parameters (like Hubble constant, etc.).
    Nevertheless, participants are expected to know about possible difference in formal definitions and to use given data correctly (like they will be expected to know both numerical expressing forms: with dot and with comma separators of integer and fractional digits, or to use correctly the sign of values from the graph of equation of time), so that the nature of effects would not be corrupted.

    Difference in content for Group Alpha and Group Beta:

  • Any content with spectra, emission, absorption, polarization, colours, stellar interior and evolution, stellar diagrams, variables diagrams, accretion, irradiation laws, red shift, relativistic effects, atomic and nuclear physics, graphs in logarithmic or exponential scales, etc. may be used only for Group Beta but not for Group Alpha (except very special cases where these items are explained in the text and play the secondary role only).
  • Questions to calculate errors of measurements and results, and with statistical analysis may be used only for Group Beta but not for Group Alpha (also maybe except very special cases).

  • Updated 11.02.2014.        

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      Dr. Michael G. Gavrilov, Founding Chairman of the International Astronomy Olympiad,
      ISSP of Russ. Acad. Sci., Academician Ossipyan street 2, 142432 Chernogolovka, Moscow region, Russia.

      fax: + 7-(496-52)-28-160