International Olympiads

International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA)


About IOAA

Decisions on key agenda are made via voting at the meetings of the International Board which composes of team leaders of the respective countries participating that year. Long-term administration is conducted by the Secretariat for the IOAA, consisting of the President and the Secretary, who are members of the International Board and are elected to the office for a five year term by the International Board. .

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The official logo of IOAA



Reflecting our recognition that the contributions of astronomy and related fields continue to grow in importance in all aspects of our lives, IOAA was founded as a competition targeting high school students with the objective of promoting interest in astronomy and astrophysics among teenagers and to improve international exchanges for school education in these fields.



The team leaders of countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, China and Poland who were attending the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) proposed an international competition targeting high school students as a means to encourage education in astronomy and astrophysics, and this proposal led to the launching of IOAA. In this context, the operational logistics of IOAA was devised with closer reference to the International Physics Olympiad rather than to the International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO). The 1st IOAA was hosted in Chiang Mai, Thailand from November 30 - December 9 2007, in honor of the 80th birthday of the King of Thailand and the 84th birthday of Princess Galyani Vadhana, the sister of the King. At the 1st Olympiad, in which 21 countries participated, Korea also participated with the first time with a team consisting of five high school students.


Eligibility for Participation

■ 5 high school students from each participating country can compete
■ The participants must not be older than 20 years of age as of December 31st of the year of the Olympiad

I.e. born after December 31st of YYYY-20 for the Olympiad of year YYYY


Dates and Location

For the duration of ten days in August ~ December of each year, each participating country takes turns hosting the IOAA. For the first five years, the Olympiad takes place in founding member countries, namely Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, China and Poland.


경시 방식

■ Theoretical Part
  • Questions are drawn from the basic concepts of astrophysics and fields including time and coordinates, the solar
  • system, stars, stellar systems, cosmology, instruments and space technology.
  • Duration of 5 hours. Composed of 15 simple questions and 2-3 complex questions, comprising 50 % of the total score.
■ Practical Part
  • Total duration of 5 hours, comprising 50% of the total score.
  • Organized into two sections
    1) Observation section: questions are solved based on observation by the naked eye or observation using sky maps / charts of celestial objects or telescopes / detectors
    2) Data analysis section: calculation or analysis of astronomical data (method of using graph paper, error processing, statistical analysis, etc.)