SPbU has awarded winners of the XXIV St Petersburg Astronomy Olympiad. Over five thousand school students from 60 regions in Russia and 10 countries abroad (Croatia, Serbia, and Canada to name but a few) tried their hand at astronomy. Still the awarding ceremony welcomed only the most talented of them.

The chairperson of the jury committee, SPbU Associate Professor Petr Tarakanov congratulated the students on their success. “We hope that the Olympiad is not the last one even for the senior students. Those who were successful and won would become members of the jury and organisation committee, — said Petr Tarakanov. — So we will be happy to see you next year”. Today the Olympiad has gained momentum and is on a par with international astronomy Olympiads, he adds.

Doing well in physics classes at school is not enough to succeed. It requires a deep understanding of astronomy and physics, keen intellect, open-mindedness and a need of achievement. Commitment is the key to the holistic worldview. The finalists can take any road they like, said SPbU Professor Konstantin Kholshevnikov. “Few people hardly know even a half of what they know about how the Universe works. The Universe is infinite, new research exposes new aspects of the Universe, and we constantly need to delve into the unknown. We can achieve groundbreaking results even in those areas that are seemingly extensively studied. Such things do happen in astronomy, — said Konstantin Kholshevnikov. — Today astronomy is vital. Even the most abstract concepts, as it may initially appear, can find its way in our everyday life.  Moreover, astronomy is beautiful. Few people, if any, can remain totally indifferent to galaxies and nebulas.  Still it is the theory that makes us see its beauty mathematically”.

Astronomy and physics are gripping. No wonder many students take part in the intellectually demanding competition several times. “I have been into the competition from the fifth grade. And I am quite successful, — said Viktor Zozulia, lyceum No 395, who won a diploma of the 1st degree. — Astronomy itself is interesting: what I like most is that you are trying to embrace the infinite Universe. I am going to pursue my study in astronomy at SPbU to become a researcher. Astronomy is big, so I haven’t made my mind what I would like to focus on”. 

St Petersburg Astronomy Olympiad is in a list of RSOSH Olympiads. If you win or are awarded a prize, you have some privileges when entering the university. Not only school graduates, but also students of 8-10 grades can have these privileges. Moreover, next year they are entitled to take only the final round without having to pass a selection procedure. Those who are winners or have been awarded prizes don’t have to take admissions tests on the astronomy courses at the University.