Though the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or the ALMA, has already been used to capture incredible images, until now the groundbreaking observatory wasn't fully complete. After ten years of construction, the ALMA can begin to study the cosmos with a resolution ten times sharper than that of the Hubble Space Telescope. From its location in the Chilean Andes mountain range, the ALMA will be used to study infant galaxies from early periods of the universe, planets forming around suns, and the distribution of molecules between stars.
The telescope has already been functioning, but the observatory's array was not completely installed until now. With their installation complete, all 66 of the antennas at the ALMA — most of which measure nearly 40-feet in diameter — will work together to form one image. The observatory employs the fastest computer ever used at an astronomical site to process the data into the final picture. Though it's the most advanced telescope of its kind in existence, the project began in the 1980s. By the time of its completion, the ALMA cost approximately $1.4 billion USD to build.