The New CAAO

What's New

Introducing the new Canadian Astronomy Competition (CAC) – Aurora Borealis


The first CAC – Aurora Borealis will be administered on FridayFebruary 3, 2023. Students must register for the competition by filling out a form here.


Contest Format

Multiple-choice and short answer questions.


There are two divisions of the CAC:

  • Junior – for students in Grade 10 and below
  • Senior – for students in Grade 11 and 12


Participants can only take one of the two versions.


Contest is written through an online test-taking software called testinvite.



The CAC results will be published at the end of February on the official page of the association (


Top contestants of CAC are awarded cash prizes.


More detailed on the competition can be found by clicking the registration button.



Additional YouTube lectures that we suggest students watch to get a better understanding of astronomy can be found in the resources page here.


2022 Team Canada IAO Results


Congratulations to our 2022 IRAO teams. This year, William Deng received a Silver Medal and the best result in the practical round.


Beta Group (Senior Team)

- William Deng

- Emma Yao


Alpha Group (Junior Team)

- Zhengyi (Jenny) Wu

- Olivia Kay

- Lillian Li

2022 Team Canada IOAA Results


Congratulations to our 2022 IOAA teams. This year, Team Canada achieved its best result ever.


Daniel Yang – Gold Medal (ranked 5th in the world and 1st in the data analysis section)

Connor Wong – Silver Medal

Zander Li – Silver Medal

Hongyi Huang – Bronze Medal

Simon Wu – Honourable Mention

Yuehan Hu – Specialize Prize from the Georgian National Observatory

New Partners and Sponsors


We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Perimeter Institute for their generous support. Your support is essential to help us bringing astronomy and astrophysics education to more students across Canada.

Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This deep view of the gorgeous island universe was captured during 32 clear nights in November, December 2021 and January 2022. It shows off a striking yellow nucleus, galactic disk, and faint outer regions. Dust lanes, small star-forming regions, and young star clusters are embedded in the patchy, tightly wound spiral arms. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms with large star-forming regions. NGC 2841 has a diameter of over 150,000 light-years, even larger than our own Milky Way. X-ray images suggest that resulting winds and stellar explosions create plumes of hot gas extending into a halo around NGC 2841. via NASA

Dueling Bands of the Night

What are these two bands in the sky? The more commonly seen band is the one on the right and is the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Our Sun orbits in the disk of this spiral galaxy, so that from inside, this disk appears as a band of comparable brightness all the way around the sky. The Milky Way band can also be seen all year -- if out away from city lights. The less commonly seem band, on the left, is zodiacal light -- sunlight reflected from dust orbiting the Sun in our Solar System. Zodiacal light is brightest near the Sun and so is best seen just before sunrise or just after sunset. On some evenings in the north, particularly during the months of March and April, this ribbon of zodiacal light can appear quite prominent after sunset. It was determined only this century that zodiacal dust was mostly expelled by comets that have passed near Jupiter. Only on certain times of the year will the two bands be seen side by side, in parts of the sky, like this. The featured image, including the Andromeda galaxy and a meteor, was captured in late January over a frozen lake in Kanding, Sichuan, China. via NASA