The many variations on telescope mounts

Varieties of telescope mounts are so many, it's almost impossible to decide which best suits your needs.

Avalon M-Zero mount and tripod

Telescopes come in all shapes and sizes, from long refractors to Newtonian systems, and this variation doesn’t stop at OTAs. Mounts seem to have almost as many variations.


In recent years, an astronomer’s choice of mount tended to be either German equatorial style mounts like the popular EQ3 and EQ5 models, or altaz and equatorial fork mounts like the Meade LX90 and LX200 systems, or the Celestron CPC range.

However, it seems single arm altaz mounts are becoming increasingly popular, we’ve reviewed several over the last few years.

With improved materials and manufacturing methods, single arm mounts can carry a reasonably sized telescope, like a 102mm short focus apo refractor or one of the many compact scopes, such as the Celestron Sky Prodigy 6 that we reviewed in this month’s issue.

In our review of the Avalon M-UNO mount this month, we show how Avalon has taken the single arm idea and turned it into a portable equatorial system that can be used for deep-sky imaging.

One wonders what is left to innovate, but I’m sure many of the other manufacturers will soon come up with something!

Finally, if you already have your telescope and Go-To mount then it is worth looking into purchasing a ccd camera that can do almost everything bar make you a cup of tea, check out our review of the QHY IMGOH Mono CCD camera in this month’s issue.


If you need help choosing a mount, read our mount reviews or our beginner’s guide to telescope mounts.