International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

BAAO past papers


Enter online


International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

The culmination of the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad is the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. The five selected students and two team leaders represent the UK along with 40 other countries at the IOAA, which takes place in a different country every year. The international competition consists of three tough rounds: a five hour theoretical paper, a three hour data analysis test and an observational round. Since in astronomy knowing the sky is of great importance, the observational round is made up of naked-eye observations as well as observations using a telescope. Furthermore, there is a separate team competition in which students are assigned to teams and have to complete a difficult task collaboratively. The best students in the competition are awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals and Honourable Mentions. In addition to the competition, the students have the opportunity of visiting new, exciting places and meeting more than 200 students from around the world, having similar passions and interests. The Olympiad covers all the costs. Before the Olympiad, the five students are trained by correspondence and have two additional camps focused on theoretical, data analysis as well as training to use telescopes and learn about the sky.

The next IOAA will take place in Bhubaneswar, India, between 9-19  December 2016 while the following IOAAs will be in Thailand (2017), Sri Lanka (2018), Hungary (2019) and Colombia (2020).

IOAA 2015

The UK team won 2 Silver Medals at our first participation in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The UK team for the 9th Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. From left to right, Charles Barclay, William McCorkindale, Bob Cliffe, Rizwaan Mohammed and Sandor Kruk.