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.

Moon & Dark Sky Observing - Public & Members

Come along to our Observing Sessions on Fri 31st Jan & Sat 1st Feb 7pm until 9pm

JSL Observatory

(next to Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre Car Park)

Join our Observing Team for a tour of the night sky and look through our massive 14-inch telescope.  We have other telescopes, binoculars, and astrophotographers on hand to make your viewing experience one that you will remember.

In our Warm Room we can show you the Stellarium virtual night sky, expertly guided by our own enthusiastic amateur astronomers.

If you live in the Scottish Highlands and have recently received or purchased a telescope or binoculars please get in touch with us so we can provide tuition for you to get the best out of your equipment (it is essential that you prearrange this with us so we can ensure the right people are available to deliver this  Please don't just turn up on the night expecting this service - we want to do it properly!)

You can easily contact us on FB, Messenger, or via our CONTACT menu button on this website.

Location of JSL Observatory:    (what3words) ///cosmetic.measuring.caressed   (scroll out & click on the satellite view and it'll take you to the exact spot!)


by HAS Astrophotographer Eric Walker


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.

A voluntary charitable donation in the region of £5 per adult would be greatly appreciated to enable us to operate & maintain our Observatory.

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.

Location of JSL Observatory:    (what3words) ///cosmetic.measuring.caressed


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 (thereafter £5 per meeting 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.

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 – September 2019 by Pat Williams

  • Naming of new interstellar visitor: 2I/Borisov.
  • Astronauts arrive safely at International Space Station.
  • Japanese cargo ship to launch to space station.
  • Astrobotic and Spacebit to bring the first UK commercial payload to the Moon.
  • Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s collapsing cliffs and bouncing boulders.
  • Links to other space and astronomy news published in September 2019.

This and all previous editions can be accessed HERE



Click for Map
Moon & Dark Sky Observing

Friday 31st January

Public & Members

Open 19:00
Close 21:00


Will be updated on the day

Dress warmly!

Try to arrive at least 30 minutes before close so you get a decent chance to view the night sky

A voluntary charitable donation in the region of £5 per adult would be greatly appreciated to enable us to operate & maintain our Observatory & Club