Symbols of the Logo


The logo, chosen for the 16th International Astronomy Olympiad in Almaty, has a deep symbolic meaning. It was created by an outstanding artist from Almaty specifically for this Olympiad and expressed the important role of astronomy in modern life and a link between culture and space that exists for a millennium.

A rocket

RocketKazakhstan is the home of Baikonur Cosmodrome the world-famous largest and the first spaceport that is still in active use. It is from here many important flights were launched, including the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in the space, which happened exactly 50 years ago!

The rocket on the logo is devoted to the flight of Yuri Gagarin half a century ago and symbolizes the important work that is done by Kazakhstan in exploring the space.


ShanyrakShanyrak is the summit of the traditional Kazakh's home that is called yurt. It is a hole in the roof of the yurt that is always kept open to let the smoke from the fireplace escape from inside. It is also a means of illuminating the yurt, and during the night it allows observation of the sky. The significance of the shanyrak in Kazakh culture is hard to overestimate, but what is especially important is that it always connected people to the sky and the stars.

During the course of the year, one can observe numerous astronomical events through the shanyrak, but one event is particularly important — the appearance of Urker in the shanyrak. With this event, in the end of December, begins the coldest part of the year when Urker stay in the zenith of the sky. But at the same time it means that there are only three months left until Nauryz — the Spring equinox and the traditional New Year!


UrkerThe star cluster on the logo is nothing other then the Pleiades. In Kazakh language it is called Urker (Үркер). Urker was the center of the ancient sky — it was used as a reference point for counting seasons and years. When Urker and the Moon "meet" in the sky, a new month begins. The ancient word meaning "calendar" is translated literally as "meeting", and during one year 13 such "meetings" occur — 11 of them can be observed and 2 not.