Telescope Mounts

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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
      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.