The Target Orbitor provides accurate and continuous temperature measurement of objects that frequently move out of the field of view, such as steel wire and rod or a heavily scaled billet. The instrument uses a scanning system that rotates the thermometer field of view in a circular orbit, increasing the opportunities for meaningful measurement. The resulting signals are processed by a peak picker to provide a continuous, accurate temperature indication. Using this technique, moving wire and rod coincides with the target spot up to six times per second. Similarly, clean hot spots on scaled steel are more readily encountered by the spiral path of the target spot as it scans across the surface of the moving billet.