Mounts

How does the telescope steer?

In order for our telescopes to point at a particular astronomical target of interest, and then to track on it as the night sky seemingly rotates above the Earth, some very accurate gears are needed.   These gears are contained within a device called a mount.  These are precision pieces of engineering, being strong and robust enough to carry the optical tube assembly and additional equipment weighing nearly 200 kg, yet precise enough to track steadily at speeds of a tiny fraction of a degree per second to counter the rotation of the Earth.  The mounts at all our observatories have been made by Bisque in Colorado in the USA.  The mounts in our original four observatories are the Paramount ME while the mount at our newest observatory, GJW-WA, is a newer version of this called the Paramount MEII.