Astrophysics (index)

Altazimuth Mount

(Alt-Azimuth Mount, Altitude-Azimuth, Azimuth-Elevation)
(simple two-axis telescope mount)

An Altazimuth Mount (aka Alt-Azimuth Mount, Altitude-Azimuth, Azimuth-Elevation) is a straight-forward mount of a telescope on a horizontal axle, in turn, mounted on a vertical axle. It provides the means to swing the telescope to any compass direction and raise it to any angle above the horizon. Such a telescope can be termed an Altazimuth Telescope.

The alternative mount is the Equatorial Mount, which has an axis parallel to the Earth's axis of rotation, so a simple, constant velocity rotation allows it to track objects in the sky. Equatorial Mount was once preferred, but is bulkier, which makes a significant difference for large telescopes, and with the development of computer control, the more complex adjustments necessary to do the same with an Altazimuth Telescope are easily handled.


Referenced by:
Equatorial Mount
Mercator Telescope