GPS: Tracking Toward Crater

Petrov turned from the screen. Reaching for his coffee, his hand stopped as he noticed the barely perceptible standing wave rippling across the surface of the dark liquid. He stepped to E-ELT’s control monitor and watched some of the data readouts slowly changing.

“Wilson, the telescope’s moving.”

“Of course. It has to stay focused on ULAS J1120+0641 for the duration of the study. You know that.” She paused, then straightened her back and turned to face him. “You know that,” she continued, “so that isn’t what you mean.”

With a small push and swivel, Wilson’s chair arrived precisely at the control monitor, a precise maneuver practiced thousands of times.

Together, they watched the telescope’s aim change, the declination changing at a faster rate than the right ascension.

“Where’s it going?”

“It’s still in Leo, nearly to the ecliptic now, tracking toward Crater.”

“We should stop it.”

Petrov reached again for his coffee and took a sip. “Yes, absolutely. We should.”

The telescope continued to track.

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