Telescope Mounts


The mount of the telescope is that mechanism which allows you to turn the telescope in the direction you wish it to point.  A poor mount can add so much extra difficulty to your observing sessions that it can seriously detract from your enjoyment of astronomy.   While a good mount is a great convenience for the visual observer, it is a necessity for the astrophotographer.  In this section we shall discuss the various types of mount,  ranging from the simplest to the most advanced while discussing their relative merits.


The Common Alt-azimuth Mount

 Figure 6: Altitude and azimuth movements.

 The altitude-azimuth mount or common alt-azimuth mount is most often found on the lowest priced telescopes.   Its name comes from the fact that the telescope may be turned two ways: 1) up and down (that is altitude) and 2) horizontally (that is azimuth).  These movements are illustrated in Figure 6.


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