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Materials from previous years
Problems, solutions, results
In 2020 AstroSandbox founded new type of astronomy and astrophysics competitions - Astronomical Fights.
This type of competition contributes to:
Exchange of astronomical knowledge

Learning to look for mistakes and find optimal solutions
Formation of skills to determine the most significant effects in problems
Development of communication skills
Formation of skills to choose adequate physical models
Development of skills to defend your thoughts
This experience will be useful for participants when participating in future competitions, in the defense of projects and in other research and discussions in later life.

More about this year's event:
August 14-19, 2020. Registration will last until August 10.
This year it will be done using online conference
Who can participate?
1) School students (preferably 9th grade or higher)
2) First- third year university students who were not winners of international / all-Ukrainian Olympiads in astronomy / physics and do not specialize in astronomy / physics / astrophysics. Since this year's tournament is held in the summer, this year's graduates belong to the category of "school students".
I don't have a team, what do I do?
Registration is individual. The organizing committee will form teams from everyone who registered. If you decide to participate with friends and want to get on the same team with them, just indicate it in the appropriate field of the registration form.
The idea of mathematical fights originated a long time ago, but we want to adapt it to astronomy. If you know about math fights, then you are already familiar with the approximate format of these competitions. If not, here is a brief description:
Each fight consists of 2 parts:
1) The team of participants solves the problems of the level of III-IV stages of the All-Ukrainian Olympiads for 3-4 hours.
2) After that, they meet with another team, which for the same period of time was solving the same problems. Teams take turns challenging each other for these problems. If you are challenged for a problem, you must explain its solution to the opposing team. If you call for a problem, you listen to its solution, find mistakes (if any), and at the end of the explanation point out these mistakes.
There are members of the jury, who give points to both teams for each problem depending on the completeness of the solution / mistakes found in the solution of the speaker / how the speaker corrected the misrakes found by the opponent.
As a result, a team wins or there is a draw. Throughout the tournament, each team goes through several fights. For victory in a fight the team receives 3 points, for a draw - 1 or 2 points (for details see the rules), for a loss - 0 points. At the end of the tournament, the winner is the team with the most points.
The full rules of astronomical fights can be found here.
Registration ended on August 10th
Astro fights rules
1. General
Astronomical battle - a competition for two teams, which consists of solving problems, explaining their own solutions and finding and exposing shortcomings in the solutions of rivals. This form of competition promotes the exchange of astronomical knowledge, the formation of skills to determine the most important effects in problems, choose adequate physical models, find errors and optimal solutions, develops communication skills of participants, the ability to defend their opinions. This experience will be useful for participants to participate in competitions, in the defense of projects and in other research and discussions in later life.

First, the participating teams receive the problem sets. The set of problems is the same for both teams and is not known to them in advance. For some time, the teams solve the problems on their own, and then gather in a common audience and start a fight.
If one of the teams sends a representative - speaker, who will explain the solution to the problem on the board, the opposing team sends an opponent who will try to find flaws in the solution of rivals. If they can prove that the speaker has solved the problem incorrectly, they may suggest their own solution.

The performances of the opponent and the speaker are evaluated by the jury in points (for the solution and for the opposition, respectively).

After discussion of the solution by the participants, the jury makes a decision: distributes 10 points for it between the speaker and the opponent. The speaker receives 10 points if they independently and unmistakably explained the correct solution (the optimality of the solution is not taken into account). When the solution contained errors, was incomplete or incorrect, contained a 'hole' in the solution, the speaker receives the appropriate part of the total number of points (10), the opponent - half the cost of the shortcomings (holes), which they pointed out. The jury takes the rest of the points.

Under certain conditions, the opponent not only points out the shortcomings in the solution of rivals, but also explains how to get rid of these shortcomings. Then they get the second half of the value of the 'hole'. If the solution is incorrect at all, the opponent can show their own and earn all 10 points (see "Switching roles"). See more details in "Distribution of points"

The period of time during which the participants discuss one task (or find out that neither team knows its solution) is called a round. A task that has already been considered in any of the rounds (albeit unsuccessfully) cannot be reconsidered.

The winner of the battle is the team with the highest score. But if the difference between the results of the teams does not exceed 3 points, it is considered that the fight ended in a draw. If according to the rules of the tournament, this fight cannot end in a draw, the jury informs the teams before the fight and announces the procedure for determining the winner.

Covid-19 regulations: this year the tournament will be held using the Zoom video conferencing platform. The conference must be attended by team members and the jury. Also, with the consent of the organizing committee, other people may be present (for example, teachers / former participants / invited guests), provided that they do not interfere with the competition. As the tournament will be held online, the team can communicate with each other by any online methods. The organizing committee recommends discord.
Type of problems
Level of difficulty: IV (all-Ukrainian) stage of the student Olympiad in astronomy. Possible practical / experimental tasks. Some tasks may require the simplest software.
Who can participate
School students and university first-third year students. Only those students who have not been winners of international / all-Ukrainian competitions in astronomy / physics and do not specialize in astronomy / physics / astrophysics are eligible to participate.
2. Structure of a team
According to the rules, 5 participants usually take part in the All-Ukrainian tournament (according to the decision of the organizing committee this number can be changed to 4 or 6). The smallest number of team members is 2. Each participant is registered separately, and the organizing committee forms teams taking into account the wishes of the participants regarding their teammates, if such wishes exist. Unless at least 2 team members are present, the team cannot receive the problem set. At least 2 team members are required to be present during the fight. Otherwise, the team receives a technical loss. The team must determine who will be its captain and deputy captain. The captain makes the final decision on each issue; has the right to take time-outs for the team, replace the speaker or opponent or talk to the jury (other team members can talk to the jury during the fight through a captain or his deputy). When the team captain reports or opposes, his role is performed by the deputy. In particular, the decision to replace the captain (as a speaker or opponent) is made by his deputy.
3. Distribution of the problem sets. Preparing for the fight
The problem sets are simultaneously announced to both participating teams, between which the fight is taking place, except in the case of a team being late for fight without a good reason. The set of problems for both teams is the same.

During the preparation time team members are prohibited from:

  • using outside help;

  • using any literature.
If one of the teams violates these rules, the jury may warn the team, disqualify some of its members or the whole team for this fight.

At the time specified by the regulations, the team must come (Covid-19 regulations: go to the video conference), where the fight will take place, and its captain - to provide the jury with a list of team members, indicating the names of the captain and deputy.
4. Captains' competition
To determine the order of calls, at the beginning of the fight is a so-called captains' competition. It involves representatives of teams - one by one - which are determined by the captains (often the captains themselves, but not necessarily - hence the name of the competition). A member of the jury offers the representatives a problem they have to solve. This can be a problem where you have to be the first to give the correct answer. The participant who raises their hand first is the first to answer. If the answer is correct, the team they represent wins. Otherwise, the competition will be won by rivals. If no entrant raises his or her hand within a minute (or other time specified by the jury), the contest questions are changed. Sometimes the captains' competition takes the form of a game. A member of the jury explains to the participants the rules of a certain (usually fictional) game. The captain is chosen by random, who is asked to choose which of the players they want to be - first or second. The team that wins the captains' competition determines who will make the first challenge.
5. Challenging coordination procedure
The calling team has a minute to decide exactly how it will act. A team can:

  • Challenge opponents to any of the tasks that have not yet been discussed. In this case, the team captain clearly and loudly announces that his team is calling opponents, and the number of the task to be called (for example: "We call the opposing team to task number 5").

  • Take a ten-minute break - if allowed by the rules (see Long breaks). If so, the team determines which task will challenge opponents after the break, writes down its number and passes it to the jury. The team has one more minute to do this. After the break, the challenge is announced by the jury.

  • Refuse to challenge. The captain must also announce this clearly and loudly (see Refusal to challenge).

Upon hearing the decisions of rivals, the team being called may:

  • Accept the challenge. In this case, she sends the speaker, the rivals - the opponent.

  • To check the correctness of the challenge - to refuse the challenge and find out whether the opponents have solved this problem. In this case, the team (if desired) sends the opponent to the board, and opponents - the speaker. The captain shall loudly and legibly announce the acceptance or verification of the correctness of the challenge.

  • If opponents (just or before) refused to challenge, the team can send a representative to report one of the tasks that have not yet been considered: the captain clearly states the problem number, and opponents (if desired) put the opponent. Before the report, if the rules allow, the team can take a ten-minute break (see Long breaks p.16).
6. Narrating
The main goal of the speaker is to increase the difference between the number of points that they will earn and the number of points that the opponent will earn (it is this difference that directly affects the outcome of the fight).

The report must contain answers to all questions of the problem and full proof that they are correct. In particular, the speaker must prove each statement made by them or refer to it as well-known (in the latter case, if the jury agrees with the well-known fact - the speaker must provide a full definition of the statement at the request of the opponent, but should not prove it). The speaker must repeat, at the request of the opponent or the jury, any part of their solution.

Narrating time is limited to 15 minutes. The jury then decides whether to allow the speaker to speak further. At the end of 15 minutes, the opponent or the jury may ask the speaker to provide a final answer (if it occurs in this task), or ask the speaker to provide a solution plan. The speaker may carry the notes and use them during the report, but the jury has the right to prohibit them from using them if they consider that the speaker reads the decision from the notes. Any material that the speaker wishes to use must be brought to the board at the beginning of the round and demonstrated to the jury. However, in exceptional cases, the jury may allow the speaker to bring additional notes after a time-out by his team.

Covid-19 regulations: as this year's tournament will be held online, the format of the report will be changed: the speaker must have a photo of the abstracts and / or a file with them. For example, write the output of a certain formula on a piece of paper or in Word and demonstrate a graph / table / diagram built in Excel (or using other software). The participant is not obliged to show these materials to the jury before the beginning of their report.

If during their speech the speaker finds a mistake in their solution and knows how to correct it, they have the right to correct it without losing points, but it is necessary to clearly explain how this correction will affect the solution of the problem (for example, due to neglect of important the effect loss of a certain multiplier / term in the formulas, and this will increase / decrease the final result by an order of magnitude / within the measurement errors, etc.)

The speaker has the right to:

  • Before the start of the report, put on the board all the necessary information: drawings, calculations, etc. (Covid-19 regulations: since this year's tournament will be held online, this rules is irrelevant)

  • Do not answer the opponent's questions that are asked before the discussion.

  • Refuse to answer a question, referring to the fact that they do not know the answer to it, or they have already answered it (explaining when and how), or that the question is not correct or does not correspond to the topic of discussion. If the opponent does not agree with the last two arguments, the arbitrator is the jury.

After each question or remark of the opponent or the jury, the speaker has a minute to think about the answer. If the speaker does not start answering in a minute, it is assumes that they cannot answer. This minute does not include minute breaks taken by the team of the speaker or opponent. If the questions or comments are close in content, the jury may limit the time the rapporteur has to consider the answers.

The end of the report should be clearly noted by the speaker by saying "the report is over". Within 10 seconds, the speaker and his team have the right to withdraw these words (the opponent is silent at this time). If this does not happen, the word is passed to the opponent.
Covid-19 regulations: as the tournament will be held online this year, 15 seconds will be allotted for recalling the words "the report is over."
7. Opposing
The main task of the opponent is inverse to the task of the speaker - to increase the difference between the number of points earned by him and the number of points that the speaker will receive. The opponent receives points for finding and exposing errors in the solution of rivals.

Until the report is completed, the opponent can ask questions only with the consent of the speaker, but he has the right to ask to repeat parts of the solution and allow the speaker not to prove any trivial in his view statements. After the report, the opponent has the right to ask questions. If the opponent does not ask any questions within a minute, it is considered that they have no questions. If the opponent believes that the speaker is procrastinating, trying to come up with a solution during the speech, or that a significant part of the report is not a statement of the solution of this problem, they have the right (but not earlier than 10 minutes after the report) to ask the speaker to announce response or plan for further consideration. If the jury finds this request incorrect, they may withdraw it.

At the end of the speech, the speaker has a minute to respond to each remark of the opponent. For example, if the opponent thinks that a certain effect has not been taken into account, the speaker within a minute should either explain why the effect can be ignored (not relevant to the problem / its impact is negligibly small) or explain how taking this effect into account , an additional multiplier / term will appear in the formulas).
8. Jury participation in the discussion
The jury is constantly involved in the discussion. Initially, as an arbitrator, that is, they can ask for clarification, they can remove questions that have either been answered or that only prolong the discussion time, and so on. The jury has the right to suspend a report or discussion if it has reached a dead end, lost touch with the task under discussion, or cannot be completed within a reasonable time.

Covid-19 regulations: as this year's tournament will be held online, the jury has the right to communicate with each other in any written way.

After the discussion between the speaker and the opponent, the jury asks its questions (actually plays the role of the opponent). If necessary, the jury may intervene in the discussion earlier.
9. Correctness of the challenge. Validation of the challenge
If the team that was challenged does not know the solution of the problem or does not want to tell it for other reasons, it can check the correctness of the challenge. In this case, this team sends to the opponent's board. The team that challenged now has the right to solve the problem, and it nominates a speaker. The round follows the usual rules. The only exception is that neither a complete nor a partial change of roles can take place during the correctness check (see Replacing roles in clause 10).

If during the correctness check the opponent shows that the opponents solved the problem in general incorrectly, the challenge is considered incorrect and the next challenge (as a punishment for incorrectness) is made by the same team. Otherwise, the call is recognized as correct and the order of calls does not change.

If the opponent agrees with the speaker's decision, the challenge is correct, despite the fact that the jury may find any shortcomings in the decision.

If the calling team immediately admits that there is no solution, the team representatives do not present the solution. The team that checked the correctness is given 5 points, the challenge is considered incorrect and in the next round the same team calls.

10. Switching roles
If the opponent has shown that the solution of the narrator's team is general incorrect, and the jury has doubts that the central idea of the solution (if specific) can be used in the correct solution, the opponent may request a complete replacement of roles with the speaker . If the opponent wishes, they become the speaker, and the former speaker - the new opponent. At the same time, the new speaker already has 5 points (for a mistake found in the opponent's report), and now the players play the remaining 5 points. A new opponent can now earn points on the opponent.

If the opponent pointed out some significant shortcomings in the outcome of rivals, and the speaker failed to eliminate them, the opponent is entitled to a partial replacement of roles. In this case, they - now as a speaker - explain how to eliminate certain (or perhaps all) shortcomings, first announcing what they will do. It is now the responsibility of the new speaker to carry out the announcement. In view of this, the former speaker may oppose them. The new speaker receives points for proven useful statements (the corresponding part of 10 points), the opponent - half the cost of errors they found. Only those statements that were formulated by the new speaker before the discussion are discussed.

If there is a partial replacement and there are shortcomings in the initial solution that the former opponent did not notice, the jury should continue discussing them with the former speaker as soon as the new speaker announces the allegations he is going to prove. The former opponent (new speaker) does not take part in this discussion.
Roles cannot be replaced twice in one round. Replacement, albeit partial, is not performed when checking the correctness of the challenge or if previously one of the teams refused to challenge. Both before the complete and partial replacement of roles (before the opponent decides whether to agree to a replacement), the jury may (but is not obliged to) announce to the teams the exact or approximate distribution of points to be awarded if the opponent does not agree to replacement.
11. Scoring
Each problem is worth 10 points, which are distributed between the speaker and the opponent at the end of the round. If the speaker, without relying significantly on the questions and comments of the jury and the opponent, gave the correct and complete solution, all 10 points are given to their team. If holes were found in the solution, the jury determines their value at the end of the discussion. After that, the opponent immediately receives half the value of the holes they found (for example, if the hole was evaluated in half of the problem, ie 5 points, then for finding it, the opponent receives 2.5 points). If some of these holes were partially or completely closed, then half the value of closed holes is distributed between the opponent and the speaker in proportion to their contribution to closing these holes (if in the example above the hole was closed by the speaker, the distribution of points will be as follows: 7.5 points will be given by the speaker , and 2.5 - the opponent. If this hole was closed by the opponent, after a partial change of roles, then both players will receive 5 points). In this case, the opponent's contribution may be not only to close the holes (in case of full or partial change of roles), but also to help the speaker (by announcing some considerations or issues).

If the holes in the solution were found by the speaker, and they didn't close them (or with the help of the team), the opponent gets points for the holes as if they themself found these shortcomings. In particular, if, after receiving a check of correctness, the captain of the team that made the call, immediately admitted that they have no solution, the opposing team automatically receives 5 points. In this case, the speaker and the opponent are not determined and the speeches are not taken into account.

If there was no complete change of roles, the opponent can not get more than 5 points. The opponent who proved the incorrectness of the call receives 5 points regardless of the value of the holes found by they (usually a hole of 5 points is enough to determine the incorrectness).
12. Refusal to challenge. Additional rounds
If a team does not want to challenge (for example, no longer has problems and is afraid of validation of the challenge), it may refuse. Then the opponents get the opportunity to tell the solutions of one or more hitherto unexamined problems. Solutions are told sequentially (but in an arbitrary order - it is determined by the team itself) in "additional" rounds. The team that refused to call puts (if they want) an opponent for each round. Rounds are played according to the usual rules. The opponent can earn points for detecting errors, but can no longer (at least partially) replace the speaker.
13. Postponed rounds
If the report on the solution of a problem takes too long and it is already clear which of the teams is challenging next, the jury may ask the team captains to postpone the round - move the discussion to another room, and allow the teams to continue the fight. Points for the postponed task are accrued in this case later. When agreeing to postpone a round, captains should keep in mind that a representative of their team will not be able to communicate with the team while discussing the task remotely, and the team cannot nominate him as a speaker or opponent.

Covid-19 regulations: as this year's tournament will be held online, the jury in the event of a protracted performance (more than 30 minutes) has the right to stop the discussion and give points based on what was achieved during the discussion.
14. Time-outs
During the fight (during the rounds) each team can take a one minute break (time-out) up to six times, during which they have the opportunity to communicate with their representative, who reports or opposes the solution. When one of the teams takes a break, opponents are also allowed to communicate for 60 seconds too. This time is not limited, even if the initiators of the break end the communication in advance.
15. Replacement of a speaker or opponent
The team can at any time replace its speaker or opponent with another participant - at the expense of 2 time-outs. They are allowed to use one or two breaks during the process. In addition, the team can decide to replace only after one or two consecutive time-outs and it is through these breaks to replace their representative (if after the break the team representative managed to return to the board, this time-out can no longer be used for replacement). If a team does not take time-outs when making a substitution, opponents may not use them either.
16. Long breaks
The team that will challenge or explain the solution after the other team refuses to call has the right to ask the jury to organize a break of 10 minutes - provided that the previous break is over (or, if this is the first break, the fight has started) no later than an hour and a half before that. The team writes the number of the problem for the challenge on the sheet and presents the sheet to the jury. The team can also record a refuse call.

If necessary, the jury may announce a forced break after one of the rounds, indicating its duration. It also usually does not exceed 10 minutes. The command making the challenge (or telling the solution) must then follow the same procedure.

Five-minute breaks between the rest rounds for the participants and the jury are also allowed.
17. Limitations
Each team member must perform at least once. If the team replaces its representative, the exit is credited to both the former speaker or opponent, and the new one. In the presence of certain circumstances, each of them can go to the board three or even more times, if the team consists of only 3-5 participants. The jury warns both teams about this before the fight. Under such conditions, rivals can also exercise this right, even if they have a sufficient number of participants.

Teams have one minute to consider each joint decision. There are no time limits for the jury

18. End of fight. Determining the winner
The fight is considered over when the problems for discussion are over or when one of the teams refuses to call and the other refuses to tell the solutions. The jury must suspend the fight after any of the rounds, if the winner of the fight has already been determined, if the score as such is not important and notify the teams. At the request of both teams, they can finish the fight to the end and play the unconsidered problems. Then the jury continues to keep the minutes of the fight and the score according to standard rules.

The result of the teams is determined by the sum of their points for all rounds. If the difference in the sum of points exceeds 3, the winner is the team that scored the most points. Otherwise, it is believed that the battle ended in a draw. If the tournament is held according to the scheme, which takes into account the total number of points, then the team gets 2 points for victory, 1 point for a draw, no points are awarded for a defeat.

If the competition regulations provide for the determination of the winning team in the event of a draw, a short additional competition is held - blitz, the format of which is also determined by the regulations. Then the team that won without a blitz gets 3 points, the team that loses - 0 points. If the team wins the blitz, it receives 2 points, and the team that loses the blitz - 1 point.
19. Structure and competence of the jury. Interaction of the jury with the teams
The team judging the fight usually consists of 2-3 members of the jury. One of them, the chairman, makes the final decision on each issue and is responsible for the actions of all other members of the team.

Jury members must strictly adhere to the rules of the fight and the separate rules of the competition (if any), but in controversial situations it is their right for the final decision. The jury must explain each of its decisions and publicly motivate the distribution of points awarded in rounds. If the announced decision of the jury for the team or for the guest team leaders seems to be contrary to the rules of astronomical fight, they may request a five-minute break during which they may discuss the final decision with the jury. If no consensus is found, it is possible to invite the head of the jury or their representative for discussion, whose decision on all issues is final. All these issues need to be clarified before the start of the new round.

After the start of a new round, the distribution of points in the previous round may change at the discretion of the chairman of the jury, reaching a certain consensus with participants and managers. The course of the battle (order of challenges) can no longer be changed. The result of the battle becomes final immediately after its completion.

During the battle, team captains and their deputies may ask the jury members questions, requests or suggestions. Guests can also contact the jury on organizational issues (see paragraph 1).
20. Fight's protocol
The jury keeps the protocol of the fight. The protocol states: the status and name of the fight, the names and composition of the teams, the names of the captains and their deputies; the name of the team whose representative won the "captain's competition"; sequence and status of calls, awarded distribution of points in each round; the number of time-outs taken and the number of substitutions made in each round; the result of the fight and the composition of the jury. The protocol may also record the course and result of an additional competition, which determines the winner of the fight in case of a draw (if such competition is provided by the rules of the fight or tournament).

On the board, the jury keeps an abbreviated protocol: writes down the names of the teams (possibly abbreviated), the sequence and status of calls, the distribution of points and the number of time-outs taken in each round, the result of the fight.

Сovid-19 regulations: since this year's tournament will be held online, the protocol will have an electronic form (for example, Google spreadsheets). Participants will have the right to view, members of the jury - to edit.
21. Penalties and disqualifications
Individual participants may be removed from the auditorium for improper conduct by the jury. If this does not help, the jury may disqualify one or both teams for misconduct, violation of the rules of combat or unfair play. If one team is disqualified, the other is awarded a technical victory. And if both, then the defeat is awarded to both teams. Both teams score 0 points each.
Materials of the competition from different years
Special thanks to
Kyiv Academic University and its graduates
For assistance in organizing the competition in online format, as well as for sponsorship
Institute for Modernization of Educational Content
For spreading the word about the competition
Radio NV
For spreading the word about the competition
As well as the authors of the problems and members of the jury
Vladyslava Marsakova
Richelieu Lyceum

Asen Hrytsak
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Pavlo Kashko
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv student, bronze medal at ІОАА 2017

Ivan Kohanovskiy
München technical university student, бронзовий призер ІОАА 2014, silver medal at ІОАА 2015

Eugenia Nedolyk
Trinity College Dublin

Nazar Budaiev
University of Florida

Maria Kovalenko
Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University student, bronze medal at ІОАА 2018

Yaroslav Erstenyk
Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University student, bronze medal at ІОАА 2014

Kateryna Kozytska
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv student

Vladyslav Verteletskiy
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv student, bronze medal at ІОАА 2015

Oleksii Rakoma
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv student

Polina Dmitriyeva
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv student

Sofia Hedzenko
Saint-Peterburgs National University

Taisiia Karasova
UPML graduate, bronze medal at ІОАА 2019
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