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 Club Meeting - (7:30pm until 10pm)

Open to Members and Visitors

Smithton Free Church


It is with regret that our AGM and next two

meetings have been CANCELLED due to the

coronavirus outbreak.

We hope to restart our meetings in July - watch

this space







                                                                        - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -

Tonight is also ideal for those who have recently purchased, or are thinking about purchasing, a new scope or binoculars and may want to know more about it and also arrange tuition from our most able Club members as to how to set things up, find objects, and get the best out of their astronomy equipment.

If you can be there 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start that helps us greatly.

Looking forward to a great evening!

- 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -

We hold our meetings in Smithton Free Church Cafe and you can find the exact spot by clicking on this “what3words”locating link ///absent.lizard.front

(This 3 word address refers to an exact 3m x 3m location. Tap the link or enter the 3 words into the free what3words app to find it.  Zoom/scroll out & click on the satellite view and it'll take you to the exact spot!)

                                                                        - 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 -

  The Orion Nebula (M42) through our Observatory Astrocam Link


Find out about your local astronomy club, what we get up to, where we meet, and how to join your local astronomy club!

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


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
Dark Sky Observing

Public and members

Open 20:00
Close 22:00


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