International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) is an annual event for highly performed high school students from all around the world. Established in Thailand 2006, it was initiated by five countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, China and Poland with the aim to proliferate Astronomy among high school students, to foster friendship among young astronomers at international level so as to build cooperation in the field of Astronomy in the future among the young scholars.
Some of the countries which have ever hosted IOAA are Thailand in 2007, Indonesia in 2008, Iran in 2009, China in 2010, Poland in 2011, Brazil in 2012, Greece in 2013, Romania in 2014, Indonesia in 2015, and India in 2016. Phuket, Thailand will be hosting IOAA in 2017.
The first president of IOAA is Assoc. Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chatief Kunjaya from Indonesia as Secretary General. The election for the President and Secretary General is regularly conducted in 5 years term. After the election in India 2016, Dr. Gregorz Stachowski from Poland is currently enacting as President of the organization and Dr. Aniket Sule from India as the Secretary General for 2017 to 2021.
The stages in the competition comprise of four exams:
Theoretical Exam: consisting of 15 short questions and 2 or 3 long questions, with 5 hours to solve. It counts as 50% of the mark.
Data Analysis Exam: a paper- or computer-based task for analysing actual data obtained from professional astronomers, with usually 4 hours to solve. It counts as 25% of the mark.
Observational Exam: questions concerning direct observation of the sky (in the real sky or in a planetarium), recognizing stars, constellations, nebulae, great circles, etc. It counts as 25% of the mark.
Team Competition: A separated competition, in which national teams are set to do a huge task, involving both individual and group efforts, with theoretical and /or practical reasoning.