Welcome to the Highlands Astronomical Society

Highlands Astronomical Society (HAS) is where amateur astonomers and others with an interest in astronomy share their passion for the stars, planets and all other wonders of the Universe.








There is something for everyone, from talks to observing sessions, suitable for all - from absolute beginners to the more advanced astronomer. Most of our activities take place in and around Culloden, where we meet every month and have our own observatory.

Monthly Meetings

We meet monthly, on the first Tuesday of each month at Smithton Culloden Free Church (second Tuesday in January) from 19:15 (for 19:30) - 22:00. All welcome. Your first visit is free (normally £2.50 for non-members).

The Youngstars, for ages 8-14, meet at the same venue, prior to the Main Meeting, from 19:00 - 19.30.


Directions to Smithton Free Church:     Car     Cycle     Walk     ///absent.lizard.front

See the Meetings and Events page for more information.

Observing Sessions

Dark Sky Sessions (September through March)

There are public evening observing sessions scheduled on Fridays & Saturdays each month throughout the winter at the JSL Observatory located at Culloden Battlefield, opposite the NTS Visitor Centre.  We also open the observatory for special events which will be notified via this website, Facebook, and Instagram when they occur.  Please be sure to visit the JSL Observatory page before joining us - it will help you to get the most out of your observatory visit.

Open to everyone although recommended for children age 8 and over.

Entry Fee is a charitable donation of £5 per adult which is greatly appreciated to enable us to operate & maintain our Observatory throughout the Winter season

FREE to HAS & SIGMA Members

View & click on the Dark Sky Observing panel in the right-hand column for the date, time and status of our next observing session.  This is updated in the hours before a session as observing is weather dependant, so do check back before setting out.

Directions to JSL Observatory:     Car     Cycle     Walk     ///cosmetic.measuring.caressed

Observing Guides for the upcoming sessions can be downloaded here    -      Friday Session        Saturday Session

Solar Sessions (April through August)

We also host Pop-Up Solar Observatories through the summer months where you can SAFELY view the Sun with specialist equipment.  These are usually on Saturdays and they literally pop up at popular venues throughout Inverness-shire and Ross-shire.

If you attend one of our public observing sessions, enjoy the experience, and wish to thank us in a practical manner, you can actually help by making a contribution to the Society’s collection box. The Highlands Astronomical Society is a registered charity (number SC 037209) and it depends on fund raising and donations to keep the observatory running.

Joining HAS

Click here to find details about Member Benefits and How to Apply for Membership of your friendly, local Highlands Astronomy club.

Contact us via our Enquiries page if you need further information.  We want this to be as simple a process for you as we can possibly make it.



Our Image Gallery with high resolution images and details of image capture & processing is located on Flickr

Latest Images

Also see our social media for more images:

Our older images can still be viewed at

HAS Archived Gallery Index

Space Exploration News Update – August 2019 by Pat Williams

  • In-Space selects Orbex for Scottish launch in 2022.
  • James Webb Space Telescope secondary mirror deploys for the first time using the spacecraft flight.
  • Northrop Grumman fully assembles NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
  • NASA engineers attach Mars Helicopter to Mars 2020 rover.
  • US Space Command establishment ceremony launches new era of space superiority capabilities.
  • Links to other space and astronomy news published in August 2019.

 This and all previous editions can be accessed HERE



Click for Map
Dark Sky Observing

Dark Sky Observing Season Begins

Fri 20th September 9pm until 11pm

- Note the later start as sky is not dark enough until 9pm!

- Hosted dark sky observing through our Club telescopes

- Bring your binoculars for a fascinating tour of some easy-to-find targets

Event Details

Current Event Status: