|Igor||Kudzej||SR, Hvezdáreň Humenné|
|Pavol||Dubovský||SR, Hvezdáreň Humenné|
|Tomáš||Medulka||SR, Hvezdáreň Humenné|
|Matúš||Kamenec||SR, ZŠ Lesnícka 1, Prešov|
|Jozef||Leško||SR, Hvezdáreň Roztoky|
The astrocamp was organized by the Vihorlat Observatory with the support of the Slovak Central Observatory in Hurbanovo. Co-organizers were Podduklianske Educational Centre in Svidník, Gmina Wisniowa, Slovak Union of Astronomers, Faculty of Natural Sciences of UPJŠ in Košice, Non-investment fund Teleskop. The event took place from July 24 to August 2, 2019 at the Astronomical Observatory at Kolonica Saddle. In keeping with its name, astrocamp is aimed at observing variable stars. The observatory is excellently equipped for this purpose. There are plenty of telescopes for both visual and CCD observations, and this year, for the first time, the low-resolution slit spectrograph LISA was also available on Variable. Still, the low number of participants was disappointing. Three participants from Ukraine, two from Poland and, besides the organizers, only one amateur astronomer from Slovakia. Several traditional participants from abroad did not come for objective reasons (term collision with the International Olimpiad in astronomy and astrophysics). Why Slovak variable star observers are not interested in Variable is still unclear.
Since 2011, the content of the Variable astrocamp has been to solve research tasks that participants choose from the offered list. They solve the tasks with the help of supervisors who provide expert advice. Practical night observations are carried out under the supervision of observatory technicians. In addition to the observatory’s six telescopes, two private instruments of participants were also used. Observing conditions were variable. Most nights were only partially usable, observations were often interrupted by clouds. Nevertheless, we managed to gather enough data. 25 light curves, 11 spectra, and 45 visual brightness estimates of variable stars were recorded. Some tasks also required the use of archival data. There are also plenty of them available at the observatory. The last evening of the astrocamp belongs to the presentation of results of individual researchers. Their level was a pleasant surprise.
At the Variable astrocamp, it is customary to award the Jindřich Šilhán Prize for an exemplary approach to observing variable stars. It was not easy to choose one laureate. Finally, Dmytro Deordiiev, a student of an eleven-year school in Nikolaev, Ukraine, was honored. He convinced the organizers mainly by the quality of the final presentation.
The scientific program was diversified by tourist activities such as a trip to Morské oko and a visit to the Bejvoč recreation area in the nearby village of Kolonica. It took place by chance on the day of the folklore festivals organized here every year by the village of Kolonica.
RNDr. Igor Kudzej, CSc.
Director of the Vihorlat Observatory in Humenné