The New CAAO

What's New

IOAA Team Canada 2024


Every year, the most important criteria for the IOAA Team Canada selection is the CAAO. In the case when several students show very close results at the CAAO, the preference is given to students in younger grades to recognize their effort and allow more students to participate in Olympiad competitions. Based on this year’s CAAO results, we are delighted to invite the following students to the IOAA Team Canada 2024:


  • Olivia Kay
  • Jarmin Weng
  • Zander Li
  • Hongyi Huang
  • Parth Sheth

CAAO 2024


The Canadian Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiads (CAAO) 2024 are scheduled to commence on Saturday, March 2.


All participants are required to register for the competition, with the registration deadline set for February 28. A registration fee of $15 applies. Please click here to register and either e-transfer the registration fee to or pay using PayPal.


To prove that you’ve made the payment, take a screenshot and write in the e-transfer message: This is the CAAO payment for [student name]. Send the payment proof email to Upon receipt of the registration fee, we will dispatch an email confirmation.


Participants will have one week to complete the contest and submit their handwritten solutions to We would like to remind participants that typed-up solutions will NOT be accepted.


The deadline for the submission of CAAO solutions is at 11:59 PM ET (8:59 PM PT) on Saturday, March 9, 2024. We encourage all interested students to take part in this Olympiad competition and showcase their knowledge in astronomy and astrophysics. The Canadian IOAA team will be chosen from the top 5 students from the CAAO.


The top 15 students in the CAAO will have the opportunity to participate in an in-person training camp, where they will receive further training and preparation for the upcoming IOAA and IAO. This year, the IOAA will be held in Brazil from August 17 to 26.


Students from any country can participate in the CAAO. However, only Canadian citizens or permanent residents will have the opportunity to represent Canada at the international Olympiads.


We wish all participants the best of luck in the CAAO.

2024 Astronomy Contest Dates


This year, we’ve made some changes to the 2024 competition dates and rules. Please see the description under each competition and the contest dates for the current academic year.


CAAO Senior

The format of the CAAO Senior is similar to that of last year. We will make some adjustments to the question types.

Date: March 2­­­­–9, 2024


CAAO Senior Camp

The training camp is for students who have performed well on the CAAO Senior. We have moved the date of the camp to March 2024 as well. Unlike last year, the IOAA team will be formed based on the CAAO results instead of the camp exam results.

Date: March 29–31, 2024. This date is subject to change depending on the location availability.



Last year, we hosted the CAC Sr. and CAC Jr. This year, we will only host one CAC for students in Grade 10 and lower.

Date: Friday, April 26


CAAO Junior

We will introduce a new Olympiad competition for students in aged 15 and under. This is the team selection exam for the IOAA Jr. and IAO Jr. competitions.

Date: May 24–31, 2024


CAAO Junior Camp

The training camp is for students who have performed well on the CAAO Junior.

Date: TBA

2023 Team Canada IOAA Results


We are thrilled to announce Team Canada's returned from the 16th IOAA held in Chorzów, Poland, decorated with three medals: gold, silver, and bronze.


Their collective effort has truly showcased the talent Canada brings to the international stage, and each one of them deserves our admiration and gratitude.

New Partners and Sponsors


We would like to express our sincere appreciation to McMaster University's Planetarium for their generous support. Your support is essential to help us bringing astronomy and astrophysics education to more students across Canada.

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