Robtics | MountsA telescope is only as good as its tripod and mounting. A telescope is used to view and magnify objects in the sky. Unfortunately it also magnifies vibrations. A telescope mount has two primary functions:

  1. Support the telescope firmly so that objects can be viewed and photographed without vibrations
  2. Provide a system for smooth controlled movement to point and guide the instrument

There are two major types of mounts for astronomical telescopes: Alt-azimuth (AZ) and Equatorial (EQ).

Alt-azimuth (sometimes called alt-az) is the simplest type of mount with two motions, altitude (vertical) and azimuth (horizontal): thus the name Alt-azimuth. Good Alt-azimuth mounts have slow-motion knobs for making precise adjustments, aiding smooth tracking across the sky. These type mounts are generally good for terrestrial observing and for scanning the sky at lower power but not for deep sky photography. Some Alt-azimuth mounts are now computer driven and allow a telescope to track the sky more accurately. This is generally good for visual use but can lose tracking on longer exposure astrophotography.

Equatorial mounts are superior to non-computerized Alt-azimuth mounts for astronomical observing over long periods of time and absolutely necessary for astrophotography. As the earth rotates around its axis, the stationary stars appear to move across the sky. If you are observing them using an Alt-azimuth mount, they will quickly float out of view in both axes. A telescope on a properly aligned equatorial mount can be aimed at a celestial object and easily guided either by either manual slow-motion controls or by an electric motor.

Both Alt-azimuth and Equatorial mounts can be with a GOTO-system. The mount has been motorized and a database with celestial objects can locate any object with a push of a button.

Can't find what you're looking for or need help selecting the best mount for you? Contact Robtics! We are happy to help!

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