Foreword

This is the first issue of the English version of the Annual Report of the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Its structure and layout are, however, considerably different from those of the corresponding Slovak version (also available at our web page). Here, we focus almost uniquely on the scientific activities of the institute and omit a number of important "non-scientic" issues, like, e.g., financial matters of the institute, teaching commitments at universities, etc.; these can only be found in the Slovak version.
Looking back at the year 2002 and comparing our professional activities and results achieved during it with those of the previous years, we can be quite satisfied. Let me just briefly summarise major accomplishments. We have published 54 papers in internationally distinguished refereed journals and 55 articles in conference proceedings. A number of interesting results have been obtained, some of them being highlighted in what follows. Our institute plays a  very important role in 14 well-established international projects and a  number of informal collaborations. Our institute hosted and co-sponsored the NATO Advanced Research Workshop "The Nature of Time: Geometry, Physics and Perception," which turned out to be a very successful professional forum for 48 participants from 20 countries worldwide. We have also succeeded in substantially improving our observational facilities. A new 50-cm telescope for CCD photometry of variable stars was put into operation and a repair of the dome of the coronal station at Lomnickż Peak has been completed. We have upgraded a few computers and bought a new, five-user licence of the Interactive Data language (IDL).
Yet, there were also a number of problems we had to face. The main, and most pressing one, is our meager budget for purchase of new literature. A majority of journals we keep receiving thanks to an exchange policy for current issues of our journal Contributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnaté Pleso (CAOSP). The last volume of the CAOSP (number 32) appeared in two regular issues. The journal is covered by the ISI and is electronically available from our web page (http://www.astro.sk) and the ADS database as well.
 
 
 
Ján Svoren
director of AI SAS



Jan Rybak 2003-06-06