SCUBA is a revolutionary new bolometer camera operating at submillimetre wavelengths on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). With two arrays of detectors operating simultaneously (131 pixels in total), SCUBA can take images up to a thousand times faster than the JCMT's previous (single-channel) continuum instrument to the same noise level. With each pixel having a factor of 10 improvement in sensitivity, the performance of SCUBA is limited purely by the sky background level on the telescope. After a lengthy commissioning period beginning in July 1996, SCUBA began carrying out observations for the astronomical community in the early summer of 1997. We describe the current performance of the instrument, and illustrate this, using some spectacular examples of the type of science SCUBA is now producing
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