Estonian national team made history at the X IOAA

Tiit Sepp | 22.12.2016

Estonian national student team made history at the X International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) by winning its first ever gold medal in astronomy competitions. The X IOAA was held from 10-18 December 2016 in Bhubaneswar India.

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The Estonian team in X IOAA in India.

In addition to the first gold medal, won by Taavet Kalda from Tallinna Reaalkool, all other Estonian students got also honours. Richard Luhtaru from Tartu Hugo Treffner gymnasium won silver and the same school alumni Jonatan Kalmus got a bronze medal. Tallinna Tõnismäe Reaalkooli student Paul Kerner was one of the first to finish without any medals and together with Tallinna Reaalkool student Carel Kuusk got a diploma. This all resulted, that in the national medal ranking Estonia finished in 6th-7th position out of 42 countries, sharing the place with UK. With only Russia, India, China, Iran, USA ahead of us.

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Taavet Kalda on X IOAA Closing Ceremony in India.

This is a worthwhile achievement, considering that the IOAA has the highest limits for medals and diploma honorable mentions in all natural science olympiads. The current olympiad was one of its histories most difficult and students had to solve problems ranging from gravity wave analysis to supernova lightcurves and many many others.

In the lights of recent success it is worth to thank all the team supervisors: Tiit Sepp, Tõnis Eenmäe and Rain Kipper from Tartu Observatory. Also we would like to thank the Czech national olympiad team, with whom we had a shared training competition. And also the organizations of Tartu Observatory, Tartu University and Science Centre AHHAA, without whose support this success would have been impossible. The Estoninan astronomy olympiad cycle is organized by Tartu University Youth Academy and funded by the Ministry of Science and Education.

Additional information: Tiit Sepp, phone: 5516983, e-mail: