Report on 54th Conference on Variable Star Research
Meeting report by Felip Walter of the Variable Stars and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society.
The 54th Variable Star Conference took place from 25-27 November in hybrid-format in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and online. The meeting was very positively received by both national and international audiences. We had 50 in-person participants from the Czech Republic and five international guests. We also had 12 Czech and 18 international online participants from as far afield as India, Brazil, UK, Ukraine and Iceland, as well as and other, closer European countries, including our neighbour, Slovakia.
Concerning planetary sciences, there was a lecture about the DART mission given by Petr Scheirich, as well as lectures about HST and JSWT photometric and spectroscopic observation of exoplanets by Angelos Tsiaras, and a presentation by Günter Wuchterl (in person) and Petr Kabáth (online from newly opened La Silla PLATOSpec telescope) about the ground component of the PLATO mission.
Yves Jongen, probably one of the most productive amateur observers of exoplanetary transits presented his work and received the very first Exoplanet Transit Prize from the Czech Astronomical Society ETD project. He has observed around 1500 individual transits during five years of activity.
Seven students (both high school and university students) presented their work in the student section. Marko Mesarč from Masaryk University, Brno received the prize for the presentation of his work on exoplanetary candidates photometry.
The meeting has surely supported pro-am and international collaboration, as everyone – and most importantly our young guests, the students of Czech high schools – used the opportunity to meet enthusiastic amateurs and professionals from the Czech Republic and abroad.