Telescope Support

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Support, Telescope


a simplified base for mounting small amateur telescopes and special portable telescopes used for the visual observation of artificial earth satellites, meteors, and other objects.

A telescope support consists of a collapsible tripod or vertical column with three bases and heads to which the telescope is secured. The head is fitted with two mutually perpendicular axes. Altazimuth mounting (with horizontal and vertical axes) is used in the simplest telescope supports. The telescope is rotated manually after loosening the tightening screws, and fine adjustment is accomplished by micrometer screws.

To observe celestial bodies moving as a result of the apparent diurnal rotation of the sky, a telescope mounted on such a support must be rotated simultaneously about two axes. More convenient is a telescope support with parallactic, or equatorial, mounting, in which one axis is directed toward the earth’s pole and the other is directed perpendicularly to the first axis. The micrometer screws and reading dials on the axes make it possible to direct a telescope at a body according to its celestial coordinates—its hour angle and declination. More advanced telescope supports are fitted with clockwork mechanisms for tracking a star with the telescope.


Navashin, M. S. Teleskop astronoma-liubitelia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1975.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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