At 17,000 feet in the middle of the ultra-dry Atacama Desert, Chile has built a giant telescope to hunt for the origins of the universe and life itself.
It is designed to make high-resolution, microwave-wavelength surveys of the sky in order to study the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). At an altitude of 5190 metres (17,030 feet), it is one of the highest permanent, ground-based telescopes in the world.
Erected in the (austral) autumn of 2007, ACT saw first light on 22 October 2007 with its science receiver.
The Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera (MBAC), and completed its first season in December 2007. It began its second season of observations in June 2008.