The idea for the IOAA arose among representatives of Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, China and Poland attending the International Physics Olympiad, both as a high-standard competition for high-school students and as a means to promote astronomy and astrophysics in education. The first IOAA was held in Thailand in 2007, followed annually by events in Indonesia, Iran, China, and Poland. The 6th IOAA will be held in Brazil in 2012.

Information on the previous Olympiads is available on the web at:

http://www.ioaa.info/ (Thailand, 2007)

http://www.ioaa2.itb.ac.id/ (Indonesia, 2008)

http://www.ioaa2009.ir/ (Iran, 2009)

http://www.ioaa2010.cn/ (China, 2010)

http://www.ioaa2011.pl/ (Poland, 2011)