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Telescope Mounts Mounts for telescopes are used for several different reasons. You don't have to hold the scope yourself while you are trying to focus on an object. It helps to steady the scope. It frees you hands up so you can make sketches of what you are viewing or adjust the scope for better focus. There are two types of telescope mounts you can employ for better viewing. One is the Alt-Azimuth. This mount is similar to a camera tripod. It uses the vertical (altitude) axis and a horizontal (azimuth) axis to help you locate your object. This type of telescope mount has two variations. The Ball and Socket which has a ball shaped end that can move freely. The second type is called a Rocker Box. This is usually made of plywood and has a low center of gravity. It has a horizontal circular base and Teflon ball bearings for the altitude axis. These are great mounts for a heavier telescope. The second type of telescope mount is called the Equatorial. This mount uses two axes that are lined up with the poles to keep track of the motion an object takes across the sky. The axes can be Right Ascension, Polar, or Declination. Instead of moving up and down on its axes like the Alt-Azimuth, this particular mount is tilted toward the Earth's axis of rotation. There are two varieties of this particular mount. One is the German Equatorial Mount. This mount is shaped like a T. The longer axis of the T is lined up with the pole of the Earth. The second variety is the Fork Mount. This is amount that is aligned with the Earth's pole but is like a two-pronged fork that sits on a wedge. The prongs are one axis and the base of the fork is the other. You can use the Equatorial Mounts for taking pictures of the objects you find.
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