Published on : Wednesday, July 29, 2015
This year Indonesia is again host to the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) 2015, this time to be held on the terraces of the imposing Borobudur temple in the district of Magelang in Central Java. Initiated by five countries : Thailand, Iran, China, Poland and Indonesia in 2006, the Olympiad is open to secondary level students from around the world who are interested in astronomy.
The Olympiad will take place from 26 July to 4 August 2015.
This year the event is participated by 318 high school students from 41 countries comprising 210 contestants, 83 team leaders and 25 observers. While Indonesia has sent 10 students divided into two teams, the regular team and a guest team. The Jakarta Planetarium and Observatory has confirmed that they have also sent two participants.
Although Astronomy is not a subject included in the regular school curriculum in Indonesia, nonetheless, Indonesian students have proven that they not only show great interest in the subject but have also succeeded in winning medals. Last year Indonesia won 4 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad, said Harris Iskandar, official in charge of the Higher Secondary Level Education at the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Borobudur can be reached from the city of Yogyakarta and Semarang. Both cities operate frequent daily flights from Jakarta, Bali and other large cities in Indonesia.
This year Indonesia witnessed the total Lunar Eclipse on 4 April 2015, while next year the Total Solar Eclipse on 9 March 2016 can be clearly observed along a large swathe of the Indonesian archipelago, from the town of Palembang in South Sumatra to the island of Ternate in the Moluccas. Cities along the path are already preparing themselves to receive droves of astronomy lovers from around the world.