UK Astronomy Olympiad Training

UK Astronomy Olympiad Team to train at the College Observatory

This December, the 10th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) takes place in Bhubaneswar, India. 

Charlie Barclay, Director of the Blackett Observatory and Head of Astronomy (and also Director of the Extended Project Qualification) has been asked to lead the UK team, and this week the College observatory was the base for two days of observational training for the squad.

This is the third training camp for this team, which is run in conjunction with Oxford University Physics Department. The team of five students were selected from around UK after several rounds of British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO) papers and the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO). All the students gained 4 or more A* or D1 grades at A level and Pre-U last week and all (except one, who is in Year 12) have places at Trinity or St John’s Cambridge to read Maths or Natural Sciences.

The team will compete over 10 days against 48 other countries. This is the first time a full UK team has entered the competition (a trial team of three students, with Charlie Barclay as team leader, competed in Indonesia last year and gained two silver medals). One of the team this year also happens to be a member of the Blackett Observatory outreach group, Friends of the Marlborough Telescope.

College pupils studying Physics are encouraged to enter both the BPhO and BAAO competitions during the Upper Sixth, whilst Lower Sixth and Hundred physicists enter other competitions organised by the BPhO.

Jaideep Barot
Deputy Head (Academic)

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