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Telescope mounts and tripods are – together with the telescope optical system and the accessories – a major component of a complete telescope. The job of the telescope mount is holding the optical system and compensate for the apparent movement of the celestial objects in the sky. Computer controlled mounts allow the automatic slewing of the telescope to the desired object –the so called Goto. The mount must match the application of the telescope, otherwise the telescope functionality will suffer. For example a simple azimutal mount may work together with a optical system visually – for astrophotography this mount will be absolutely useless. Generally speaking it often makes sense to invest about half of the total telescope buget into the mount, to get a well performing system. The nicest optics cannot perform well when the whole system is shaking so hard that it is impossible to achieve a stable focus. Mounts are divided into two categories: equatorial mounts and altazimutal mounts. Equatorial mounts are aligned to the celestial pole and allow the compensation of the earths rotation by moving the RA(rectaszension) axis. You can identify a equatorial telescope because of its tilted appearance. Equatorial mounts generally come in two versions: german equatorial or fork mounts. In the german equatorial mount  the weight of the optical system is balanced by counterweights, and it is very often possible to change the optical system that is sitting on the mount. This versatility makes the german equatorial very popular in the astro amateur community. In the fork mount the optical system is mounted to one or two fork-like arms without any big counterweight. Fork mounts have the advantage that it is very often possible to switch from equatorial mode to azimutal mode for visual work. Azimutal mounts don´t have the tilted setup oft he equatorial mounts – you swing the optical system parallel and perpendicular to the ground, like with a photo tripod with head. The advantage of the azimutal mount is the usability – everybody is able to work with a azimutal mount within a very short time period. Both azimutal and equatorial mounts can be purchased with computer controlled Goto.

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