01 December 2005
After the astronomers went home in the morning the telescope’s caretakers removed the big mirror and invited the assembled faithful to hold it steady while they polished its impossibly smooth surface. The faithful did not pray or genuflect. Neither did they cross themselves or place their foreheads on the ground. Instead, they were sustained by seeing their own reflections live, even for a brief time, where the images of stars congregated. When the astronomers returned the next evening and prepared the telescope for a night of observation, they noted a quiet air of reverence in the meshing of the gears.