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altazimuth mounting(ăltăz`əməth): see telescopetelescope,
traditionally, a system of lenses, mirrors, or both, used to gather light from a distant object and form an image of it. Traditional optical telescopes, which are the subject of this article, also are used to magnify objects on earth and in astronomy; other types of
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altazimuth mounting(al-taz -ă-mŭth) (azimuthal mounting) A mounting in which the telescope swings in azimuth about a vertical axis and in altitude about a horizontal axis (see illustration). It is easy to make and use and needs no counterpoise weights to balance the telescope. It provides a very firm support and is well adapted for terrestrial observations and for following rapidly moving objects such as artificial satellites. Its great disadvantage is the need to adjust both altitude and azimuth simultaneously and at different rates to follow the diurnal motion of a heavenly body. The application of very precise computer-controlled drive mechanisms to altazimuth mountings has led to their use in large optical and radio telescopes. The altazimuth design allows a smaller and less costly observatory dome to be used on an optical telescope. Compare equatorial mounting.