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
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).