The Jim Savage-Lowden Observatory

Highlands Astronomical Society is the proud owner of a fully equipped astronomical observatory opened in 2008. The observing dome houses a Meade LX200R 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, fitted to a Skywatcher EQ8 GOTO equatorial mount. The Society also has various other telescopes, ranging from a 3.5" Maksutov and 4" achromatic refractor up to an 8" astrograph and 12" dobsonian. These will often be set up by members of the observatory team as auxiliary telescopes for public and members observing sessions.

The observatory is situated on the grounds of the NTS Visitor Centre at Culloden Battlefield and can be reached from the Visitor Centre's far car park. 

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

The observatory is regularly open to the public - see the table below for dates. Please check the  Dark Sky Observing  panel or  Summer Solar Observing  panel in the right hand column for the status of the next observing session before setting out. (Note: you may need to disable your browser's ad-blocker or whitelist this site if you cannot see the panels on the right of the page).

For more information about Public Observing Sessions, please go to our Public Observing page.

Observing Sessions

See below for details of our upcoming sessions.

March 2019

Type Date Time
Public & Members Fri 20th Sep 2019 21:00-23:00
Public & Members Sat 21st Sep 2019 21:00-23:00
Public & Members Fri 27th Sep 2019 21:00-23:00
Public & Members Sat 28th Sep 2019 21:00-23:00


To read reports and observing logs from our sessions go to the  Current Activities & News  item in the right column.

Summer Solar Observing

From April to August each year we host some daytime observing sessions at the Observatory during which visitors can safely observe the Sun through a specialist solar telescope operated by an observatory supervisor.

The Society's solar telescope is a Lunt LS60THa, which allows only a very specific part of the Sun's radiation (the hydrogen-alpha band) through to the eyepiece, meaning prominences (flares), filaments and surface granulation are readily visible and observable in near real-time.

VERY IMPORTANT! Never look directly into the Sun through binoculars or a telescope or even with the naked eye. It will cause immediate and incurable damage to your eyes if you do. If you want to observe the Sun, contact the Society and we will be able to provide advice for safe observing.

Weather & Observing Conditions

IMPORTANT! Practical Observing Etiquette

Click here for a Guide to getting the most out of your Observing Session, whether it be your own personal one or a Society organised Event.


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: