The present form of the report of the activities of the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (AI SAS) does not differ significantly from the last year report. Its structure and layout are, however, considerably different from those in the corresponding Slovak version (also available at our web page). The English version is focused almost uniquely on the scientific activities of the AI SAS and it omits 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. The report for 2006 is the fourth in the English language that I have the pleasure to present, and I hope you will find it of interest.

Our staff in High Tatras and Bratislava was unchanged in 2006, except that Ladislav Scheirich retired after 39 years as an observer of the Department of Solar Physics and Lubomir Hambalek started his PhD study in the Stellar Department.

It is useless to attempt to summarize content of the following many pages in a few rows here. Nevertheless, some important issues should be pointed out. The amount of scientific production is expressed by 53 papers in internationally distinguished refereed journals and 13 articles in referred 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 16 well-established international projects and a number of informal collaborations.

AI SAS organized a workshop "Solar Flares and Initalization of CMEs", held at Tatranska Lomnica on September 13-15, 2006. Solar physicists involved in observations, theory, and instrumentation have discussed recent results and fostered collaborations in the following fields of solar physics: recent advances in investigation of flare coronal hard X-ray sources, in theoretical and observational physics of coronal mass ejections. Special section was devoted to numerical magnetohydrodynamic modeling of active region evolution. Also solar flares and their impact on the Earth's atmosphere was included to the programs of the workshop. It was a very successful professional forum for 37 participants from 7 (USA and Central European) countries.

In 2006, AI SAS has been very successful at applying for observational time at the world-class solar telescopes, located at the Canary Islands, through the Opticon Trans-national Access Program of the 6FP EU. All financial expenses related to the operation of these telescopes during our campaigns have been covered by this program (totally 144 000 Euros). Our research group studying the origin of the reservoirs of small bodies of the Solar System uses the huge European computational capacity, so-called GRID computing, which belongs to the most powerful computational tools in the world at present. An important support of an efficient usage of the GRID is provided by the experts from the collaborating Institute of Informatics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences within the project Enabling Grids for E-science II.

The last volume of our journal Contributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnate Pleso (number 36) appeared in three regular issues. The journal is covered by the ISI and is electronically available from our web page ( and the ADS database as well.

We have also succeeded to improve substantially our observational facilities and infrastructure. A new ST-10XME CCD camera, produced by SBIG, Santa Barbara, USA, was purchased - it enables photometry of bright Centaurs and comets at large heliocentric distances. A new powerful internet server was put into operation. In 2006 IP telephony was installed at all the working places of AI SAS. We completely redesigned the WWW homepage of AI SAS. We required a higher level of lucidity and simple way of managing. This goal was made good using the latest tools in developing the websites. Instead of HTML 4.0 we used XHTML 1.0 language, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS2) for creating a new layout and PHP5 language as a functional base of our WWW homepage, as well.

The head of the Stellar Department D. Chochol was established as a single point of contact (national coordinator in the Slovak Republic) for the activities of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Ján Svoren
director of AI SAS

Jan Rybak 2007-10-01