Two mounts in one

Sky at Night Magazine - - FIRST LIGHT -

Al­though at first glance the AZ-EQ Avant mount looks like a con­ven­tional al­taz­imuth mount, it can ac­tu­ally be used in two modes.

In al­taz­imuth (AZ) mode, the mount moves hor­i­zon­tally in a 360° cir­cle (az­imuth) and ver­ti­cally (al­ti­tude) from the hori­zon to the zenith, the point in the sky im­me­di­ately above the ob­server. This makes it sim­ple to lo­cate as­tro­nom­i­cal tar­gets. But to fol­low th­ese ob­jects as they move across the night sky in an arc it’s nec­es­sary to make ad­just­ments in both al­ti­tude and az­imuth axes.

In equa­to­rial (EQ) mode, the whole mount head is tilted on an ad­justable wedge so that it points to the North Ce­les­tial Pole (in the north­ern hemi­sphere) or South Ce­les­tial Pole (in the south­ern hemi­sphere), around which the sky ap­pears to ro­tate. This means that once you’ve aligned the tele­scope on an ob­ject us­ing the ‘hor­i­zon­tal’ ad­just­ment (right as­cen­sion – RA) and the ‘ver­ti­cal’ ad­just­ment (dec­li­na­tion – Dec.), it’s only nec­es­sary to make ad­just­ments in the RA plane to fol­low the ob­ject as it tra­verses the sky.


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