Why do I need a sturdy mount and tripod for astronomy?

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Scope Doctor Steve Richards solves your practical astronomy ailments.

A sturdy mount ad tripod is vital for astronomy and astrophotography

Why do I need a sturdy mount and tripod for astronomy?

Steve says: “It is amazing how simply touching the focus knobs on a telescope can really unsettle the view just when you need it all to stay perfectly still.

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Wind buffeting can also make the telescope visibly shake, while the magnification from the telescope’s optics will only amplify this movement.

A sturdy mount and tripod will, therefore, make a huge difference to the quality of your observations by helping to dampen down unwanted movement quickly.

You can make some improvement to the stability of a lighter duty tripod by suspending a substantial weight underneath it, attached to the underside of the tripod’s head.”

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Email your astronomy queries to Steve at scopedoctor@skyatnightmagazine.com and they could get answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.