• NGC 1300 barred spiral galaxy. Photo courtasy: NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
Young astronomy students from 41 different countries of the world recently participated in the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics. It was 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. In this IOAA, 221 participants from 48 teams came and spent 10 days together competing and interacting with each other, 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 visited.
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. Our hosting of the 10th International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics was a part of our continuing tradition of encouraging young students to appreciate and enjoy the excitement of this oldest of pure sciences. The programme also offered an opportunity to meet Indian students beyond the participants through an active outreach programme associated with the event.
10th IOAA was 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 was National Institute for Science Education and Research (NISER).
For those of you who are new to the event, IOAA comprises of three rounds i.e. theoretical test, observation test and data analysis test, whose total counts towards medals of participating students. In addition, there was also be a team competition to determine the best team.


The event is being supported by






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