For complete information regarding the International Astronomy Olympiad, please visit the IAO official homepage at The following is excerpted from the official homepage.

In recognition that:

  • astronomy plays a fundamental role in the human progress and will acquire more global importance in the 21 century;
  • astronomical knowledge is an important part of the culture of our civilization and an essential factor in forming the view of life and the way of thinking of the young people in the modern world;

The Olympiad sets itself the aims of:

  1. Attracting the most talented young people to professional careers in the field of astronomy:
    • giving an opportunity for showing their capabilities and encouraging the best students;
    • helping the young people in choosing a profession;
    • acquainting the participants with the real working conditions and the nature of the research work in the hosting observatory (institute), exchange of ideas and knowledge between astronomers, teachers, and students.
  2. Spreading astronomical knowledge among as many students as possible and improving the astronomical education:
    • provoking an interest in astronomy, physics, and astronautics in a greater number of children and young people;
    • the popularization of natural science and the scientific approach in astronomy and related sciences;
    • encouraging teachers to work for improving, enriching and enlarging school astronomy education and including more children in it;
    • activating the astronomy education in the junior classes of the high school;
    • promoting extracurricular activities in amateur clubs, scientific societies, circles etc.;
    • stimulating organization of national astronomical Olympiads in different countries;
    • enhancing international contacts in the field of astronomy and physics education in schools.
  3. Stimulating the imagination and creativity of children:
    • the character of the astronomical tasks enables putting the students in non-standard situations, very close to those of a real scientific research; they can require creating hypotheses, assuming approximations, choosing between a multitude of factors that could be taken into account or neglected, and independent decision about the form of the needed answers;
    • the astronomical tasks can set unusual problems for which solving a free way of thinking, fantasy and inventiveness are necessary;
    • astronomical tasks allow a variety of completely different, although correct solutions applying different original approaches.
  4. Cultivating a spirit of correctness and friendship:
    • the International Astronomy Olympiad is a meeting of young people from different countries – future colleagues in the scientific exploration who will have to work in cooperation;
    • in the time of the Olympiad favorable conditions are created for active contacts between students, teachers, and specialists from the hosting observatory (institute) aimed at an intense exchange of knowledge, education, and upbringing of the children during all stages of the event.