View Celestial Objects From Your Patio With a Skywatcher Mount
Viewing celestial objects from your patio is a lot more accessible than you believe, and with a drive out of the city, night-sky photography can become a lifetime hobby. Skywatcher produces a wide range of telescopes and telescope mounts to meet your needs. You can find a variety of Skywatcher mounts on eBay in a multitude of models and prices.
What types of Skywatcher mounts are available?
A variety of mounts are available depending on the focus of your photography and the telescope you own.
- Multi-purpose mounts – There is a wide selection of multi-purpose mounts for different Skywatcher telescopes. User-friendly with pre-programmed settings, multi-purpose mounts are geared toward the casual user.
- Equatorial mounts – An equatorial mount is a telescope mount with an axis that is parallel to the earth’s axis in order to point at the celestial pole. A wedge is normally used to set the correct angle. Equatorial mounts can track and photograph celestial objects. When using an equatorial mount, a motor drive is essential to track objects in the sky. The Earth’s rotation can move the object you are focused on out of range very quickly and a motor drive will help to keep the object in the centre of the field.
- Alt-azimuth mounts – Alt-azimuth mounts are normally used to view the terrestrial landscape. The telescope can move vertically up and down and horizontally side to side. These mounts are compact and light but stable.
- Guide scope mounts – Guide scope mounts are intended to be used for a guide scope or smaller cameras up to 1.5 kilograms.
- Pro series equatorial mounts – The pro series equatorial mounts are premium-grade, professional telescope mounts with load capacities of 20 kilograms and provide maximum stability for your telescope.
Which Skywatcher mount should you use?
If you are viewing the night sky against the terrestrial landscape, the alt-azimuth mount is preferable. If you are viewing the celestial sphere for astronomical use, an equatorial mount with a motor drive is recommended. When selecting a mount, make sure you have a telescope that can support the weight of the mount, the telescope, and the camera. Heavier telescopes will require a stronger mount for stabilization. Heavier telescope-mount-camera combos will require a stronger tripod to provide the necessary stability.
Is there a difference between EQ3, EQ3-2, EQ4, and EQ5?
The EQ1 is an equatorial mount for novices and casual users. The EQ2 is equally easy to use, less portable but is capable of carrying a heavier load. The EQ3 and EQ3-2 are identical mounts with 360-degrees rotation and the option for double motors. The EQ4 and EQ5 mounts offer identical functions but have differences in their mechanical design. The EQ5 offers maximum manual setting customization.
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