The New CAAO

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CAAO 2022 Results


The results for the CAAO 2022 are available here. The Diploma Ranking is based on the method used by the IOAA grading committee.



Message from Dr. Zagainova


Dear participants of the 6th CAAO,


I would like to congratulate you on the successful completion of the Olympiad. You have put a lot of effort into solving the challenging problems, and I can say with confidence that you are the smartest high school astronomers in Canada. You have touched one of the most romantic and unusual sciences - the science of "Astronomy" - the science of the past, present and future. Perhaps in the future, when you work somewhere on the Moon or on Mars, the knowledge gained in preparation for this Olympiad will be useful to you. I also hope that participation in the 6th CAAO will help you with the choice of your future profession.



Dr. Vera Zagainova,


Canadian Coordinator of the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

Chairman of the Canadian Association of Amateur Astronomers

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