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Manual Altazimuth Mount Telescopes

An altazimuth is the simplest type of mount. It doesn't have any counterweight, which makes the mount very light and easy to move around.

It provides two motions:

  • altitude (vertical) and
  • azimuth (horizontal). 

Manual Altazimuth Mount Telescopes

Manual Altazimuth Mount

A manual altazimuth mount doesn't have a motor drive. To track the motion of the celestial object in the field of view, the user needs to move the telescope by hand simultaneously about both axes. This motion can be visualized as a "zig-zag” motion. 

  • Telescopes on altazimuth mounts are used for observing the night-sky at lower power, but they are also useful for terrestrial observations.
  • They are not suitable for deep-sky photography, but they can still be used for Moon and planetary photography — they require short exposures to photograph them.  

A standard altazimuth is mounted on top of a tripod. There is also a special type of altazimuth mount, called a Dobsonian mount, available on the market. A Dobsonian telescope is a newer version, mounted on the ground by a large platform. It is designed to support a Newtonian reflector with large apertures.   

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