EQ & AZ Mounts
EQ – Equatorial Mounts
An Equatorial mount moves the telescope in an arc, allowing the user to track objects much more easily as they move across the sky. This means you only have to adjust a single axis to track the object to keep it in your field of view.
Equatorial mounts take a little longer to set up due to the alignment process, though you will have more control over your telescope. This control makes an equatorial mount a better option for astrophotography.
An equatorial mount is made up of a tripod and a mount head, which holds the telescope and moves it about on two axes, one called right ascension (RA; east-west) and the other called declination (Dec.; north-south). Putting your telescope on an equatorial mount allows you to follow stars as they continue their steady progress across the night sky. The mount may look complex, but it really doesn’t take long to master.
AZ – Alt-Azimuth Mounts
Alt-Azimuth, or Alt-Az, mounts are simple telescope mounts that are quick to set up and easy to use. These telescopes have two axes of movement: altitude (up/down), and azimuth (left/right). As an object like the moon moves across the sky, you will need to adjust both of these directions every now and then to keep it in your view.
This simplicity of use makes an Alt-Az telescope a great beginner’s telescope, or as a secondary scope for quick use.