Public Astronomy Evenings

Come along to find out more about the history of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh and about what happens here today. Our team will help you find your way around the night sky whatever the weather. When possible, you'll have the opportunity to observe the heavens with our telescopes. If the weather lets us down, our team will equip you with some handy hints and tips for finding your way around the night sky, so the events go ahead whatever the weather.

At each event, you will have a tour of our historic Victorian telescope dome, which still houses one of the largest telescopes in Scotland. Here you will also hear about what happens at the Observatory today. Also included in every event is a meteorite handling session - a chance to hold a rock from space! The events are designed to be suitable for all ages, with the earlier session timed for those with younger children.

Summer Astronomy Evenings
May - September 2017
7:30pm-9pm, Monthly events on Friday evenings: 26th May, 16th June, 14th July, 18th August, 8th September

During the Summer months, here in Scotland we have far fewer hours of darkness at night, and as such, observing the stars is not possible at our events. However, if the Moon is visible, we will observe it with our telescopes and occassionally we are able to observe the Sun with our Solar Scope. At each event, you will also receive information about what can be seen later on that evening, and key astronomical objects or events to look out for over summer.

Winter Astronomy Evenings
October 2017 - April 2018
Friday evenings from 6th October 2017. 6:30pm - 7:30pm and 8pm - 9pm. No sessions on 22nd December or 29th December. Last winter session on April 27th 2018.

The long dark nights of the winter make Scotland a great place for stargazing. Unfortunately, the weather doesn't always make for perfect stargazing. At our Winter Public Astronomy Evenings, whenever possible, we use our 8" and 10" Meades telescopes to observe the night skies, seeking out the most interesting objects, from planets to nebulae. Our team will also lead you through a naked-eye guide to the night sky, so you can find your way around the main constellations. We are unable to observe when it is cloudy, raining or particularly windy (the vibrations from the wind make it difficult to focus on objects). In the event of such bad weather, alternative activities will be arranged.


We are now taking bookings online.

Book Winter Astronomy Evening Tickets

Dark Matter Day

On 31st October we will be holding a special Public Astronomy Evening event in celebration of Dark Matter Day, tickets and more details can be found on the booking page.

If you need any help making a booking please call 0131 668 8404 or email

Cost £5 adults, £4 children/concessions. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

These events can book up quite far in advance, particularly over the Winter months, so we do advise you book early.

To allow as many people as possible to attend, maximum individual group size for these sessions is 10 people.

If for any reason you are no longer able to make an evening you have booked, please let us know as soon as possible so that the places can be offered to other visitors.

Tickets booked from 10th August 2017 onwards will be charged at the new rate shown above, tickets booked before this date will be honoured at the previous pricing level.