The radio telescope is the most expensive ground-based telescope ever built - and the highest-altitude, at 16,000ft. Chile's Atacama desert was chosen as its location for its dryness and clarity. American projeect manager Mark McKinnon said, 'Alma's test views show us star-forming regions on a level of detail that no other telescope on Earth or in space has attained.' It operates at higher sensititivity and higher resolution than any previous 'sub-millimetre' radio telescope - and should allow us to see the formation of new solar systems. ALMA, as it is known, can see through cold clouds of dust that 'block the view' of traditional infrared/visible light telescopes. As more of ALMA's antennae come online, its images will get sharper.
The Alma Telescope