Ολυμπιάδα Αστρονομίας & Αστροφυσικής 2016

19 Ιουνίου 2016

We invite young astronomy students from all countries of the world to come and participate in the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics. It is an opportunity for pre-university students from various countries to meet and make friends with students with similar interest from all part of the world. At the last IOAA, participants from 41 countries came and spent 10 days together competing and interacting with each other. We hope to have more countries in India this year, when we host IOAA from 9 to 19 December 2016.
India is one of the oldest countries in the world with its prehistory going back to almost 2 million years. It housed one of the earliest large scale civilisation, the Harappan civilisation from 7000 to 2000 BC and has not looked back. It is home to some of the finest architecture in the world from Taj Mahal to the magnificent Sun Temple at Konark, which the participants to the Olympiad will visit.
  • NGC 1300 barred spiral galaxy. Photo courtasy: NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

India is also a vibrant democracy with a lot of interest and investments in pure sciences in general and astronomy in particular. Apart from several meter class astronomical telescopes, it hosts the world’s largest meter wave telescope and has recently launched a state of the art multi-wavelength astronomy telescope. We are hosting the 10th International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics as a part of our continuing tradition of encouraging young students to appreciate and enjoy the excitement of this oldest of pure sciences. The programme will also offer you an opportunity to meet Indian students beyond the participants through an active outreach programme associated with the event.
10th IOAA will be hosted in one of the most picturesque and ancient city of Bhubaneswar, which boasts of a rich tradition of religious architecture, art form and cuisine. The city of Bhubaneswar, is also the capital of the state of Odisha. The host institute will be National Institute for Science Education and Research(NISER).
For those of you who are new to the event, IOAA will comprise of three rounds i.e. theoretical test, observation test and data analysis test, whose total will count towards medals of participating students. In addition, there will also be a team competition to determine the best team. Detailed programme of the Olympiad will be announced later. Participants may note that as per the tentative schedule, opening ceremony of 10th IOAA will be held on the evening of 10thDecember and closing ceremony will be held on the evening of 18th December. If you would like to bring a team of students from your country, follow the instructions on the pre-registration page.
So do come to India and enjoy our hospitality, our cuisine and make friends from all over the world.

 

The event will be supported by

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Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India

Department of Space, Government of India

Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India

Department of Science and Technology, Government of India

© 2016 IOAA 2016

Inter-Logo-IOAA

General Notes:

  1. Extensive contents in basic astronomical concepts are required in theoretical and practical problems.
  2. Basic concepts in physics and mathematics at high school level are required in solving the problems. Standard solutions should not
    involve use of calculus and/or the use of complex numbers and/or solving differential equations.
  3. Astronomical software packages may be used in practical and observational problems. The contestants will be informed the list of
    software packages to be used at least 3 months in advance. The chosen software packages should be preferably freewares or low-cost ones
    enabling all countries to obtain them easily for practice purpose. The chosen softwares should preferably be available on multiple OSs
    (Windows / Unix / GNU-Linux / Mac).
  4. Concepts and phenomena not included in the Syllabus may be used in questions but sufficient information must be given in the questions
    so that contestants without previous knowledge of these topics would not be at a disadvantage.
  5. Sophisticated practical equipments likely to be unfamiliar to the candidates should not dominate a problem. If such devices are used in
    the questions, sufficient information must be provided. In such case, students should be given opportunity to familiarise themselves with such
    equipments.
  6. The original texts of the problems have to be set in the SI units, wherever applicable. Participants will be expected to mention
    appropriate units in their answers and should be familiar with the idea of correct rounding off and expressing the final result(s) and
    error(s) with correct number of significant digits.


Theoretical Part

Symbol (Q) is attached to some topics in the list. It means “qualitative understanding only”. Quantitative reasoning / proficiency in these
topics is not mandatory.

The following theoretical contents are proposed for the contestants.


Basic Astrophysics

ContentsRemarks
Celestial MechanicsNewton’s Laws of Gravitation, Kepler’s Laws for circular and non-circular orbits, Roche limit, barycentre, 2-body
problem, Lagrange points
Electromagnetic Theory & Quantum PhysicsElectromagnetic spectrum, Radiation Laws, Blackbody radiation
ThermodynamicsThermodynamic equilibrium, Ideal gas, Energy transfer
Spectroscopy and Atomic PhysicsAbsorption, Emission, Scattering, Spectra of Celestial objects, Doppler effect, Line formations,
Continuum spectra, Splitting and Broadening of spectral lines, polarisation
Nuclear PhysicsBasic concepts including structure of atom, Mass defect and binding energy Radioactivity, Neutrinos (Q)


Coordinates and Times

ContentsRemarks
Celestial SphereSpherical trigonometry, Celestial coordinates and their applications, Equinox and Solstice, Circumpolar stars,
Constellations and Zodiac
Concept of TimeSolar time, Sidereal time, Julian date, Heliocentric Julian date, Time zone, Universal Time, Local Mean Time, Different
definitions of “year”, Equation of time


Solar System

ContentsRemarks
The SunSolar structure, Solar surface activities, Solar rotation, Solar radiation and Solar constant, Solar neutrinos (Q), Sun-Earth
relations, Role of magnetic fields (Q), Solar wind and radiation pressure, Heliosphere (Q), Magnetosphere (Q)
The Solar SystemEarth-Moon System, precession, nutation, libration, Formation and evolution of the Solar System (Q), Structure and
components of the Solar System (Q), Structure and orbits of the Solar System objects, Sidereal and Synodic periods, Retrograde motion, Outer
reaches of the solar system (Q)
Space ExplorationSatellite trajectories and transfers, Human exploration of the Solar System (Q), planetary missions (Q), Sling-shot effect
of gravity, Space-based instruments (Q)
PhenomenaTides, Seasons, Eclipses, Aurorae (Q), Meteor Showers


Stars

ContentsRemarks
Stellar PropertiesMethods of Distance determination, Radiation, Luminosity and magnitude, Color indices and temperature, Determination of
radii and masses, Stellar motion, Irregular and regular stellar variabilities – broad classification & properties, Cepheids &
period-luminosity relation, Physics of pulsation (Q)
Stellar Interior and AtmospheresStellar equilibrium, Stellar nucleosynthesis, Energy transportation (Q), Boundary conditions, Stellar
atmospheres and atmospheric spectra
Stellar EvolutionStellar formation, Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, Pre-Main Sequence, Main Sequence, Post-Main Sequence stars, supernovae,
planetary nebulae, End states of stars


Stellar Systems

ContentsRemarks
Binary Star SystemsDifferent types of binary stars, Mass determination in binary star systems, Light and radial velocity curves of
eclipsing binary systems, Doppler shifts in binary systems, interacting binaries, peculiar binary systems
ExoplanetsTechniques used to detect exoplanets
Star ClustersClassification and Structure, Mass, age, luminosity and distance determination
Milky Way GalaxyStructure and composition, Rotation, Satellites of Milky Way (Q)
Interstellar MediumGas (Q), dust (Q), HII regions, 21cm radiation, nebulae (Q), interstellar absorption, dispersion measure, Faraday
rotation
GalaxiesClassifications based on structure, composition and activity, Mass, luminosity and distance determination, Rotation curves
Accretion ProcessesBasic concepts (spherical and disc accretion) (Q), Eddington luminosity


Cosmology

ContentsRemarks
Elementary CosmologyExpanding Universe and Hubble’s Law, Cluster of galaxies, Dark matter, Dark energy (Q), Gravitational lensing, Cosmic
Microwave Background Radiation, Big Bang (Q), Alternative models of the Universe (Q), Large scale structure (Q), Distance measurement at
cosmological scale, cosmological redshift


Instrumentation and Space Technologies

ContentsRemarks
Multi-wavelength AstronomyObservations in radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelength bands, Earth’s
atmospheric effects
InstrumentationTelescopes and detectors (e.g. charge-coupled devices, photometers, spectrographs), Magnification, Focal length, Focal
ratio, resolving and light-gathering powers of telescopes, Geometric model of two element interferometer, Aperture synthesis, Adaptive optics,
photometry, astrometry


Practical Part

This part consists of 2 sections: observations and data analysis sections. The theoretical part of the Syllabus provides the basis for all
problems in the practical part.

The observations section focuses on contestant’s experience in

  1. naked-eye observations,
  2. usage of sky maps and catalogues,
  3. application of coordinate systems in the sky, magnitude estimation, estimation of angular separation
  4. usage of basic astronomical instruments-telescopes and various detectors for observations but enough instructions must be provided to
    the contestants. Observational objects may be from real sources in the sky or imitated sources in the laboratory. Computer simulations may be
    used in the problems but sufficient instructions must be provided to the contestants.

The data analysis section focuses on the calculation and analysis of the astronomical data provided in the problems. Additional requirements
are as follows:

  1. Proper identification of error sources, calculation of errors, and estimation of their influence on the final results.
  2. Proper use of graph papers with different scales, e.g., polar and logarithmic papers. Transformation of the data to get a linear plot
    and finding “Best Fit” line approximately.
  3. Basic statistical analysis of the observational data.
  4. Knowledge of the most common experimental techniques for measuring physical quantities mentioned in Part A.

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