Altazimuth mount

Altazimuth mount

An Altazimuth or alt-azimuth mount is a simple mount used for moving a telescope, camera, helostatic mirror, or solar panel along two perpendicular axes of motion, one vertical and one horizontal. The vertical movement is known as the "altitude", while the horizontal motion is called the "azimuth".

The biggest advantage of alt-azimuth mounts is their simplicity in both manufacture and use. They are often used for beginner telescopes, or for spotting scopes, but are still widely in use for more advanced instruments. In the latter case, advanced electronics and motors are sometimes attached to compensate for the restrictions of the mount's simplicity.

In astronomy, alt-azimuth mounts were, for a time, surpassed in popularity by the more complex equatorial mount. The latter is more naturally suited for tracking astronomical objects in the night sky as the Earth spins on its axis, since its polar alignment means that only one axis need be adjusted rather than the two of an alt-azimuth mount. Being able to track such objects reliably is particularly important for astrophotography, as well as more advanced amateur astronomy, both of which became more accessible when equatorial mounts became affordable.

In recent decades, alt-azimuth mounts have once again become very popular for astronomical telescopes:

* Telescopes built on the very popular Dobsonian design employ a variant of the alt-azimuth mount due to its ease of construction. Dobsonian style telescopes are optimized for visual astronomy, and the alt-azimuth mount is more suitable for this larger class of instrument since it doesn't add the unnecessary mass, complexity, and expense of an equatorial mount.
* Affordability of modern electronics has been a further motivation for a return to alt-azimuth mounted telescopes, with their increased simplicity for manufacture and practical use. In particular, it has often proved more convenient to build a simple alt-azimuth mount and use a computer to manipulate both axes to track an object, than to build a more mechanically complex equatorial mount that employs only a single motor. When astrophotography is involved, a further motor may be used to rotate the camera to match the field of view.
* For the largest telescopes, the mass and cost of an equatorial mount is prohibitive. The simple structure of an alt-azimuth mount is much better suited to such large heavy instruments.

ee also

*Telescope mount
*Equatorial mount
*Solar tracker

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • altazimuth — noun A telescope or surveying instrument that has a mount permitting both horizontal and vertical rotation …   Wiktionary

  • altazimuth — [al tazɪməθ] noun 1》 Astronomy a telescope mounting that moves in azimuth (about a vertical axis) and in altitude (about a horizontal axis). Compare with equatorial mount. 2》 a surveying instrument for measuring vertical and horizontal angles.… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Equatorial mount — An equatorial mount is a mount that has one rotational axis parallel to the Earth s axis of rotation [cite web | url = monturas.htm | title = LAS MONTURAS | publisher = Observatorio J. A. Soldevilla] [cite… …   Wikipedia

  • Telescope mount — A telescope mount is a mechanical structure which supports a telescope. Telescope mounts are designed to support the mass of the telescope and allow for accurate pointing of the instrument. Many sorts of mounts have been developed over the years …   Wikipedia

  • equatorial mount — (also equatorial mounting) noun Astronomy a telescope mounting with one axis aligned to the celestial pole, which allows the movement of celestial objects to be followed by motion about this axis alone. Compare with altazimuth (in sense 1) …   English new terms dictionary

  • Dobsonian telescope — A Dobsonian telescope on display at Stellafane in the early 1980s A Dobsonian telescope is an alt azimuth mounted newtonian telescope design popularized by the amateur astronomer John Dobson starting in the 1960s. Dobson s telescopes featured a… …   Wikipedia

  • BTA-6 — Infobox Telescope bgcolour = name = BTA 6 caption = BTA 6 as seen from in front of the main entrance organization = SAO location = near Mt. Pastukhova, Russia wavelength = 0.3 to 10 μM built = First light 1975 website =… …   Wikipedia

  • List of telescope types — There are three main types of optical telescopes and these are divided into subgroups. They all have their different advantages and disadvantages and they are used in different areas of astronomy.Refractors (Dioptrics) * Non achromatic *… …   Wikipedia

  • Observational astronomy — Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory Observational astronomy is a division of the astronomical science that is concerned with getting data, in contrast with theoretical astrophysics which is mainly concerned with finding out the… …   Wikipedia

  • Parkes Observatory — The Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”