Rules and Data Policy

The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition gives you the unique opportunity to show your knowledge and astronomy skills! The IAAC is the biggest online astronomy competition for students from all countries. Win awards and cash prizes or become official IAAC ambassador in your country!

Most Important Points Vision and Values

§1:Astronomy is an outstanding scientific subject that has inspired us humans for thousands of years: By looking into the sky and imagining the earth as a tiny boat in the depth of space we feel connected and curious about all the planets, stars, and galaxies out there. The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition takes this fascination sparking subject and gives students the opportunity to challenge their astronomy and astrophysics knowledge in a friendly competition and - by participating - to learn more about this interesting subject and to extend their horizon.

§2: The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition has the aim to be accessible to all students from all countries regardless of their background, school, or institution. For that, the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition uses today's technologies and the global connection through the internet to make this competition possible: All you need is a pen, paper, and an internet connection to participate! In general, astronomy is a great motivation for students to get in touch with science. Our society is in need of capable scientists and engineers that develop, shape and maintain the innovations of the future. The initial motivation through scientific events and competitions can encourage students to a professional career as a researcher or engineer. We have the aim to provide a sophisticated competition platform and to enable students, parents, and teachers to get involved in the process of shaping your future.

Elegibilitiy and Participation

§3: In order to be eligible to participate in IAAC you have to be at least 10 years old and you have to be a student (high school or university). There are no other restrictions and students from all grades and all countries are invited to participate! There are two age categories: (1) Under 18: Age from 10 to 17 years, (2) Over 18: Age from 18 years.

§4: Students from both categories will receive the same problems in all rounds, however, students that are youths (18 years or older) will have to reach more points to qualify for the next round (e.g. to qualify for the pre-final round, students that are under 18 years have to reach 15 points and students that are over 18 years have to reach 20 points).

Prizes and Awards

§5: The prizes and awards worth a total of about 700 USD which includes cash prizes of 450 USD: All participants (regardless of the results) receive participation certificates to honor their efforts. The best students can achieve the 1. prize, 2. prize, and 3. prize as well as special awards for the best students from each region. All participants that use professional computer programs (e.g. TeX) to write down their solutions receive a special honorary note on their certificates since this skill is important for the future career of all students.

§6: Because IAAC is an international competition, we honor the best participants from each region of the world with a special certificate. We will send hard copies of the certificates to all prize winners. All participants and finalists will receive a soft copy of the certificate via email (in order to protect the environment).

§7: We understand the crucial role of teachers and schools for scientific education and for the encouragement of students for scientific subjects. Because of that, we award several school awards to honor the efforts of the teachers and the school:

§7.1: IAAC School Award for Most Participants: This award receives the school with the most overall participants of the qualification round to honor the efforts of the teachers for encouraging students to participate in science competitions.

§7.2: IAAC School Award for Most Finalists: This special award receives the school with the most students that have shown outstanding performance and have participated in the pre-final and/or final round.

§7.3: IAAC School Award for Excellence: This award receives the school with many outstanding students that have achieved high results throughout the overall competition to honor the quality education in general. The coordinators decide which and how many schools receives this award of excellence.

§8: Participating in international competitions is important for the personal development of students and it is a great achievement for your career. Furthermore, to participate in IAAC is a unique experience that will bring encouragement and motivation to all youths.

§9: Winners and former participants of IAAC become automatically part of the IAAC network: This network consists of outstanding and talented students from all around the world! You will receive important notifications and opportunities. Also, the IAAC team organizes meetups in several regions of the world – all participants are welcomed to come. These meetups are announced via email and on the social media channels.

Process and Deadlines

§10: The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition consists of three rounds: the qualification round, pre-final round, and final round. Each round has it's unique features to enable a challenging and interesting experience!

§11: The qualification round is the first stage and consists of five astronomy problems: A, B, C, D, and E. The problems are available online on the official IAAC website ( These astronomy problems vary in topic, difficulty, and subject. The problems range from knowledge skills to astrophysical calculations to make sure that everyone finds interesting problems to work out. The problems will sharpen your mind and also challenge your science, math, and astronomy skills!

§12: Each of the problems can give you up to 5 points and there are 25 points in total. All participants of the qualification round will receive participation certificates regardless of the results. You have to score at least 15 points (junior, under 18 years) or 20 points (youth, over 18 years) to qualify for the pre-final round.

§13: The submission deadline is Sunday 15. May 2020 23:59 UTC+0.

§14: In order to avoid connection issues, upload errors, and other problems, we highly recommend to submit the solution several days before the official submission deadline!

§15: The solution file may be typed digitally or it may be a clear picture of your handwritten notes. You can also write your solution in the blank space on the problems sheet. Participants that type their solutions on a computer receive a special note on their certificates. Please make sure to upload only PDF files or image files at the submission form. Also, make sure to write your name correctly as it will be used for all certificates and documents. There are no fees or registration costs to participate in the qualification round.

§16: The results of the qualification round will be announced on Monday 22. April 2020. You will receive an email about results, however, you can also check your submission status, your results, your performance report, and your certificates online at the submission status page. We highly encourage you to check your submission online:

§17: Participants that have solved the qualification round successfully are qualified to participate in the pre-final round. The problems will be more challenging, but even more interesting!

§18: The pre-final round consists of 10 different problems that vary in difficulty, points, and topic. There are three types of problems that give you four, six, and ten points: 4x Basic Problems: The pre-final round includes four basic problems (lowest difficulty). A correct solution to a basic problem adds four points to the total score. 4x Advanced Problems: The pre-final round includes four advanced problems that are more difficult. A correct solution to an advanced problem gives you six points. 2x Research Problems: The pre-final round includes two research problems: These problems require you to read two short scientific research papers and to learn about recent scientific results in order to solve the problems or questions. This will give you the chance to get in touch with scientific research while solving the problems.

§19: It is possible to reach up to 60 points in total. Participants have to reach at least 25 points (junior, under 18 years) or 35 points (youth, over 18 years) to qualify for the final round.

§20: All participants that are qualified and that are registered for the pre-final round will receive the problems via email or at the online status page on Monday 15. June 2020. From that day on you have one week until Sunday 21. June 2020 to solve as many problems as possible!

§21a: You can submit your solution online via a special submission form: You can choose if you would like to submit the solution as handwritten version or as computer typed document. We recommend writing the solution in the blank space on the problems sheet of the pre-final round. Computer typed versions do not receive a special note on their certificates. §21b: It is not allowed to work in groups on the problems of the pre-final round. Help or assistance from teachers, friends, family, or the internet is prohibited. However, the usage of textbooks and calculators is allowed for the pre-final round.

§22: If you succeed in the qualification round, you have the unique opportunity to participate in the pre-final round. You can register for the pre-final round via your online status page. The registration deadline for the pre-final round is Friday 3. May 2020.

§23: This global competition is attached to many costs such as human resource, technical infrastructure, materials, and much more. Our sponsors cover most of the expenses, however, to make this international opportunity possible we ask the participants to cover the registration costs of 8 USD for the pre-final round. The registration costs are necessary to provide the resources for the evaluation of this year’s competition and in particular for the comprehensive pre-final round. The registration costs will exclusively be used to make this global opportunity possible and are the only costs attached to this competition. The registration costs can be covered with any common payment option available and we will inform all qualified participants about further details.

§24: The results of the pre-final round will be announced on Monday 20. May 2020.

§25: Participants that have solved the pre-final round successfully are qualified to participate in the final round: a multiple-choice exam for which students have 60 minutes time.

§26: The final round consists of a single exam with 40 multiple-choice questions. The questions require knowledge about astronomy and astrophysics as well as calculation skills and creativity. Finalists have 60 minutes for the exam! To every question, there are four possible answers given (only one is correct). A correct answer equals one point. The awards and prizes are given to the finalists with the most points in the final round.

§27: The exam will (usually) take place in the school of each finalist supervised by a teacher. All finalists have to select a teacher (or another supervisor) who agrees to supervise the final exam. We will send all required information and the final exam to the selected teacher who has time to conduct the 60 minutes exam until Friday 7. June 2020. We will provide a special online form for all teachers to upload the results without much effort! The teacher has to make sure that the finalist does not cheat and the teacher has to end the exam as soon as the 60 minutes are over regardless of the number of questions answered. The results of the final round and IAAC 2020 will be announced on Monday 10. June 2020.

Further Rules

§28: We give the very best to avoid technical issues. Technical issues cannot be avoided and might happen. This includes email issues, the website may not be available, some features may not be available or working properly or show wrong information. We do not take any guarantee for not having technical issues and no claims (e.g. reevaluation, on prizes, on certificates) can be made because of technical issues.

§29a: We give all the best to make sure that the evaluation is fair and correct. However, we can not give a guarantee for this and human and technical failures might happen. If failures are detected after the deadlines or the competition or after the rounds are over, no claims can be made (e.g. such as reevaluation, on prizes, on certificates).

§29b: In case that two participants have an equal score in the final round, we will use the points from the pre-final and qualification round to determine the winner. If this method does not yield a winner, the coordiantors have to evaluate the individual submissions and solutions to the problems, and appoint the person that has proven to be more creative and skilled the winner. The coordinators may also decide that the two participants share the prize.

§30: The main communication and information tool is email. There may occur issues with email communication. Participants have to make sure that emails can reach them. Nevertheless, we can not ensure that there are no other issues occurring with email delivery or sending. All participants are responsible to check the official website and to use the status check tool on our official website.

§31: All information and deadlines provided in this terms, rules, and conditions, on our website, in emails, in flyers, and any other places may be edited and change without announcement and also after the competition or rounds. All participants are responsible to visit our website frequently to check for changes.

§32: There are no legal claims possible on any aspects of this competition (e.g. reevaluation, on prizes, on certificates, on information).

§33a: The main coordinators may disqualify participants from the competition. Participants that have found cheating will definitely be disqualified from the competition.

§33b: In case of equal results in the final round, the main coordinators will decide how to proceed: In general, the final winner will be decided based on the results in previous rounds.

§33c: The participation in the pre-final round requires the payment of the registration costs of 8 USD. The registration costs are non-refundable and do not depend on the results in the pre-final round or in the overall competition. Participants are responsible for duplicate payments and the IAAC is not required to refund duplicate payments.

§34: Exceptions from the eligibility are possible. The competition may be paused, stopped, or canceled at any time and without reason.

§35: No reasons for any action (e.g. disqualification, canceling of competition) have to be provided. We give our best to have a transparent and exciting competition. However, the coordinators and organizers are not required or responsible to hand out certificates or prizes at any time.

§35b: Registered teachers, which have to be approved by the IAAC team, can add participants via their email and birth year and view some of the participant information (i.e. results, certificates). Also, IAAC can forward the information and results of groups to schools and teacher, which affiliation to the participant was confirmed.

§35c: The teacher approval takes place under reservation. In case the IAAC team detects any irregularities, suspicious activities or unexpected high results of the students as well as form the teacher, we can require further verification documents, materials or contact to local officials to verify the eligibility as a teacher. If no later verification is successful, all results form the students in the final round can become null.

Site Usage, and Data Policy

§36.0: These terms and conditions govern your use of this website and the rules for programs, competitions, events, etc. conducted by this website or organization; by using this website and participating in events, you accept these terms and conditions in full. If you disagree with these terms and conditions or any part of these terms and conditions, you must not use this website, services, and material, participate in events or any other services provided by the website. Events mean any competition, project, offer, sub-website, article publishing, clicks, subscribing, submitting, applying, or other services.

§36.1: Every right to this website belongs to the organizers. The main responsible person and the organizer and coordinator is Fabian Schneider, see "Impressum" via the link on the bottom right corner for contact information. They are in charge of the content and cannot be replaced or removed without their own consent.

§36.2: This website may use cookies. By using this website and agreeing to these terms and conditions, you consent to our use of cookies for any purpose. In general, the events and the organizers do not take any warranty, responsibilities or duties as possible within the applicable law. If any of the following statements disagree with the applicable law it does not affect any other rules or terms in this statement and everything else remains valid.

§36.3: Unless otherwise stated, the organizers own the intellectual property rights in the website and material on the website. Subject to the license below, all these intellectual property rights are reserved. You may view, download for caching purposes only, and print pages from the website for your own personal use, subject to the restrictions set out below and elsewhere in these terms and conditions.

§36.4: You must not: sell, rent or sub-license material from the website; reproduce, duplicate, copy or otherwise exploit material on this website for a commercial purpose; edit or otherwise modify any material on the website; redistribute material from this website except for content specifically and expressly made available for redistribution.

§36.5: You must not use this website in any way that causes, or may cause, damage to the website or impairment of the availability or accessibility of the website; or in any way which is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful, or in connection with any unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful purpose or activity.

§36.6: You must not use this website to copy, store, host, transmit, send, use, publish or distribute any material which consists of (or is linked to) any spyware, computer virus, Trojan horse, worm, keystroke logger, rootkit or other malicious computer software.

§36.7: You must not conduct any systematic or automated data collection activities (including without limitation scraping, data mining, data extraction, and data harvesting) on or in relation to this website without written consent of the organizers.

§36.8: You must not use this website to transmit or send unsolicited commercial communications. You must not use this website for any purposes related to marketing without written consent by the organizers.

§36.9: Access to certain areas of this website is restricted. The organizers reserve the right to restrict access to areas of this website, or indeed this entire website, at the organizer's discretion.

§36.10: If the organizers provide you with a user ID and password to enable you to access restricted areas of this website or other content or services, you must ensure that the user ID and password are kept confidential. The organizers may disable your user ID and password, or remove you from the events, without notice or explanation. If certificates, identification cards, etc. provided by the organizers lead to harm, financial losses, or legal consequences, the organizer does not take any responsibility.

§36.11: In these terms and conditions, “your user content” means material (including without limitation text, messages in any way, images, audio material, video material, and audio-visual material) that you submit to this website, for whatever purpose. You grant the organizers and the events a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your user content in any existing or future media. Every picture, essay, text or data submitted by the user can be used under CC0 license by the organizers and the events. You also grant the organizers the right to sub-license these rights, and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.

§36.12: Your user content must not be illegal or unlawful, must not infringe any third party's legal rights, and must not be capable of giving rise to legal action whether against you or the organizers a third party (in each case under any applicable law).

§36.13: You must not submit any user content to the website that is or has ever been the subject of any threatened or actual legal proceedings or other similar complaints.

§36.14: The organizers reserve the right to edit or remove any material submitted to this website, or stored on the events servers, or hosted or published on this website.

§36.15: The organizers reserve the right to use the material for its own benefits. Therefore material can be used to excess other platforms (e.g Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) to promote the events. Notwithstanding the organizers' rights under these terms and conditions in relation to user content, the organizer does not undertake to monitor the submission of such content to, or the publication of such content on, this website.

§36.16: This website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. The events and the organizers make no representations or warranties in relation to this website or the information and materials provided on this website.

§36.17: Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, the events and the organizers do not warrant that: this website will be constantly available, or available at all; the information on this website is complete, true, accurate or non-misleading. Nothing on this website constitutes or is meant to constitute, the advice of any kind.

§36.18: The events and the organizers will not be liable to you (whether under the law of contact, the law of torts or otherwise) in relation to the contents of, or use of, or otherwise in connection with, this website: to the extent that the website is provided free-of-charge, for any direct loss; for any indirect, special or consequential loss; or any business losses, loss of revenue, income, profits or anticipated savings, loss of contracts or business relationships, loss of reputation or goodwill, or loss or corruption of information or data.

§36.19: These limitations of liability apply even if the events or the organizers have been expressly advised of the potential loss.

§36.20: You accept that, as a limited liability entity, the events and the organizers have an interest in limiting the personal liability of its officers and employees. You agree that you will not bring any claim personally against the events or organizers officers or employees in respect of any losses you suffer in connection with the website.

§36.21: You agree that the limitations of warranties and liability set out in this website disclaimer will protect the events and organizer's officers, employees, agents, subsidiaries, successors, assigns and sub-contractors as well as and above all the events and the organizers.

§36.22: If any provision of this website disclaimer is, or is found to be, unenforceable under applicable law, that will not affect the enforceability of the other provisions of this website disclaimer.

§36.23: You hereby indemnify the events and the organizers and undertake to keep the events and the organizers indemnified against any losses, damages, costs, liabilities, and expenses (including without limitation legal expenses and any amounts paid by the events and the organizers to a third party in settlement of a claim or dispute on the advice of the events and the organizers legal advisers) incurred or suffered by the events and the organizers arising out of any breach by you of any provision of these terms and conditions.

§36.24: Without prejudice to the events's and the organizer's other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach these terms and conditions in any way, the events and the organizers may take such action as the events and the organizers deems appropriate to deal with the breach, including suspending your access to the website, prohibiting you from accessing the website, blocking computers using your IP address from accessing the website, contacting your internet service provider to request that they block your access to the website and/or bringing court proceedings against you.

§36.25: The events and the organizers may revise these terms and conditions from time-to-time. Revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of this website from the date of the publication of the revised terms and conditions on this website. Please check this page regularly to ensure you are familiar with the current version.

§36.26: The events and the organizers may transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with the events and the organizer's rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions without notifying you or obtaining your consent. You may not transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with your rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions.

§36.27: If a provision of these terms and conditions is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other provisions will continue in effect. If any unlawful and/or unenforceable provision would be lawful or enforceable if part of it were deleted, that part will be deemed to be deleted, and the rest of the provision will continue in effect.

§36.28: These terms and conditions constitute the entire agreement between you and the events and the organizers in relation to your use of this website and supersede all previous agreements in respect of your use of this website.

§36.29: These terms and conditions will be governed by and construed in accordance with German Law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Judiciary of Germany. This document was partially created using a Contractology template available at

§36.30: The articles submitted may not be offensive, contain explicit content or contain illegal materials, or be inappropriate for the events. The jury decides whether an article is inappropriate. The name and the data given for the submission do not need to be true in any sense. All submitted data may be used for any purpose and may be published everywhere for any purpose.

§36.31: All emails provided may be used for any purpose and in any way. The organizers and the events are not obligated or bound to anything or any action. The organizers and the events may or may not on own behalf or interest: pay prize money; pay the stated amount of prize money; distribute or create certificate; provide any awards, data, or feedback to users of the website or participants in the events; continue or stop the events without reason.

§36.32: The decision of any jury or organizer cannot be accused of not changed. The decisions of the organizers are final. The organizers do not need to justify or provide criteria for any decision. The decisions of the organizers may be arbitrary or random. The organizers and the decision may not be independent.

§36.33: The events and website do not need to provide names of organizers members or the number of organizers members. Participants have no claim of any award, certificate or other. Fees may be requested at any time without announcement or notice. The events and the organizers do not need to respond to emails, or questions, or messages or any other contact attemp.

§36.34: Accounts may not be used by someone else except for you. You are responsible to keep your account safe. You are not allowed to create multiple accounts or to create accounts with bad intentions (e.g. to harm others not to spread wrong information). We do not ensure that the content on this website is virus free.

§36.35: The owner of this website may use all content on this website and submitted to this website for financial use (e.g. advertisement, selling products). This website uses Google Analytics to track activity and user statistics. By using this website you agree to this.

§36.36: These rules, terms, and conditions may change and may be edited without notice. It is in your responsibility to check from time to time whether you still agree to the rules, terms, and conditions.

§36.37: According to DSGVO of the European Union, we would like to inform you about following: We save data for the purpose of statistical evaluation, email marketing, and to improve our products and services. The manager (“Datenschutzbeauftragte”) is Fabian Schneider, see Impressum on the bottom for contact information. Everything is in accordance with German law. The data is received by the 1und1 web hosting infrastructure. The data expiration time is for profiles unlimited, to enable you access to your accounts. For all other statistical data, the limit is 24 months. We use Google Analytics for data evaluation. You have the right to be informed about the data that we save about you and you have the right that we delete the data. You have the right to complain at the data protection agency.

§36.38: By using this website, you agree that the exclusions and limitations of liability set out in this website disclaimer are reasonable. If you do not think they are reasonable, you must not use this website.

Additional Data Policy

§37.1: We save data for the purpose of statistical evaluation, email marketing, and to improve our products and services. The manager (“Datenschutzbeauftragte”) is Mr. Fabian Schneider (Im Neuenheimer Feld 133, 69120 Heidelberg, schneider(at), +491776762399)

§37.2: Everything is in accordance with German law. The data is received by the 1und1 web hosting infrastructure. We save data such as viewed web pages or names of the retrieved file, date and time for statistical purposes and store them on the server without the data being directly related to your person. For the newsletter subscription, we only save your email address and the limit is 24 months.

§37.3: At the contact form we save also your email address and your personal name if your name is stated by you. On behalf of the participants we just store name, email address, password, country, birthday, career status, the name of your school/university/workplace, personal description, your profile picture and the optional information you state. Personal data, in particular name, address or e-mail address will be collected on a voluntary basis as far as possible. Without your consent, the data will not be passed on to third parties. The data expiration time is for profiles unlimited, to enable you access to your accounts. For all other statistical data, the limit is 24 months.

§37.4: The data is not given to third parties that are not affiliated with us. You have the right to be informed about the data that we save about you and you have the right that we delete the data. You have the right to complain about the data protection agency.

§37.5: We use Google Analytics, a web analytics service from Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA. To disable Google Analytics, Google has a browser plug-in available at Google Analytics uses cookies, for data evaluation. These are small text files that make it possible to store specific information related to the user on the user's terminal. These enable an analysis of the use of our website offered by Google. The information collected by the cookies about the use of our pages (including your IP address) is usually transferred to a Google server in the United States and stored there. We would point out that on this website Google Analytics was extended to the code "GAT. _anonymizeIp ();" To ensure an anonymized collection of IP-addresses (so-called IP-masking). If the anonymization is active, Google will shorten the IP addresses within the Member States of the European Union or in other contracting States of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, which makes it impossible to draw conclusions about their identity. Only in exceptional cases the full IP address will be transferred to a Google server in the United States and shortened there. Google respects the Privacy Shield agreement and is registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce's privacy Shield program and uses the information collected to evaluate the use of our sites, reports to us and to provide other relevant services to us. You can find out more at

§37.6: Our website uses features of Facebook Inc., 1601 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA. When our Facebook plug-in pages are called, a connection is established between your browser and the Facebook servers. Because of this data is already transferred to Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, this data can be linked to it. If you do not wish to assign this information to your Facebook account, please log out before visiting our Facebook page. Interactions, especially the use of a comment function or the click of a "like" or "share" button are also passed on to Facebook. You can find out more at

We have used as a source (besides others):