VSSS4 - A Successful Variable Star Event

Variable Stars South's Fourth Symposium took place at the University of Sydney on Good Friday, 25 March 2016, and had just over 30 participants. It was preceded by an enjoyable evening at a local restaurant in a 'getting to meet one another' occasion.

The range of papers was impressive, emphasising the variety of research areas as shown in our annual report in Southern Stars. These comprised eleven presentations with five poster papers and were supplemented by a further eleven papers at the succeeding NACAA conference.  An encouraging feature was several presentations by visual observers, with two more at the NACAA event.

Topics ranged from a variety of eclipsing binaries, through Mira, delta Scuti and Cepheid pulsating variables to L2 Puppis, a possible incipient planetary nebula. Techniques covered CCD and DSLR photometry, visual measures, through to video cameras and spectroscopy. These will begin appearing on our web site over the next month or two. In contrast to VSSS3 almost all the participants were active observers.

The whole event was enjoyable - perhaps the best conference I´ve ever attended. A good venue, good organisation and a wide range of papers - excellent in both content and presentation. I hope to see many of these in formal print shortly. It was announced that the next NACAA conference will be in Ballarat in 2018 and, whilst I will have retired as director by then and it will not be my decision, it sounds a useful venue for VSSS5.

-- Stan Walker