Here, we focus almost uniquely on the scientific activities of the Institute and omit a number of important "non-scientific" 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 2004 let me just briefly summarize major accomplishments. The amount of scientific production is expressed by 46 papers in internationally distinguished refereed journals and 9 articles in refereed 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 19 well-established international projects and a number of informal collaborations.
Our institute organized the IAU Symposium No. 224 "The A-star Puzzle", held in Poprad on July 8-13, 2004. The symposium was devoted to normal and peculiar stars of the A spectral type. Altogether 31 invited lectures and 20 contributed talks, as well as 86 posters, were presented. The symposium was a very successful professional forum for 124 participants from 26 countries worldwide. The proceedings of the Symposium were published by the Cambridge University Press Publishing House.
The Institute has been the Slovak coordinator of the project 'Venus-Transit 2004'. We organized a two-day meeting for teachers to inform them how to run the project. During the transit we transfered images with the web-camera to Internet on-line. More than 60 schools across the country were involved in the project.
We have also organized the 3rd school of the ESMN (European Solar Magnetic Network) etitled "Solar Magnetometer and Solar Magnetism". The event took place at Tatranska Lomnica from 3 to 10 November, 2004. It was an extensive and intensive introduction into the methodology and results of the current solar physics research, with the focus on solar magnetism. Eleven courses were given on the most important topics of solar physics. About 60 participants attended the school, mainly PhD students and graduate students from the European Union.
The latest volume (no. 34) of our journal Contributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnate Pleso appeared in three 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.
We have also succeeded in substantially improving our observational
facilities. The dome of the 0,5-m reflecor for CCD photometry of stars was
connected by fiber optics to the main institute's building at Stara Lesna.
The 0,61-m comets and asteroids reflector at the Skalnate Pleso Observatory
was rebuilt for automatical regime. A complex reconstruction of windows and
outer doors at the mountain Skalnate Pleso Observatory and a new
electric power installed at the Lomnicky Peak Coronal Station made better
working conditions for our observers and scientists. Our conference hall at
the institute headquarters was equipped with a modern computer projector.
director of AI SAS