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Animated Equatorial Mount Tutorial
Equatorial Mount Moving to Zenith
Click your browser's RELOAD button to re-run the animation.

Moving to View Near the Zenith (directly overhead)
Here we see the telescope moving from the Start Position to view near the zenith (directly overhead). In the first three frames, the Declination (DEC) axis is locked. The telescope moves in Right Ascension (RA) only, to the west side of the mount, until the DEC axis is parallel to the ground. The final frame shows the scope moving in DEC only, with the RA axis locked.

Although the animation above shows the telescope moving first to the west side of the mount, it's equally easy to reach the zenith from the east side.

In practice, the telescope is usually moved in both axes at at the same time. Once you are familiar with the motions of the GEM, moving in both axes at once becomes second-nature. When first practicing with a GEM, however, it may be easier to move in one axis at a time.

Moving to View Near the Zenith
Moving to View the Southeast Sky
Moving to View the Southwest Sky
Moving to View Due South

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