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Giant mirrors light up Norwegian town

Posted on Saturday, 26 October, 2013 | Comment icon 12 comments

The hills prevent direct sunlight reaching the town in winter. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 G.Lanting
The town of Rjukan is completely surrounded by tall hills, cutting off direct sunlight during the winter.
Residents of the town are so deprived of sunlight during the cold winter months that they are forced to take a cable car to the top of the surrounding hills in order to get their fix. The problem stretches from September right through until March of the following year.

An innovative solution to the problem was first proposed by Sam Eyde, the town's founder, back in 1913. He had proposed setting up large mirrors on the hilltops to reflect the sun's light down on to the town, however at the time the technology didn't exist to make it happen.

Fast forward 100 years and a new project costing 5 million kroner ( $848,000 ) has done exactly that. Three giant 17m long mirrors have been placed 450m above the town where they can now reflect beams of sunlight down on to the town in specific areas. The mirrors are designed to follow the sun's movement across the sky to maximize the effect.

"We think it will mean more activities in town, especially in autumn and wintertime," said tourist office head Karin Roe. "People will be out more."

Source: Russia Today | Comments (12)

Tags: Norway

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by freetoroam on 26 October, 2013, 18:12
that's a great idea, maybe they can bring those mirrors to the big cities which are being blocked off by sunlight:
Comment icon #4 Posted by moonshadow60 on 26 October, 2013, 19:05
With the magnifying glass, Seeder, it can fry ants. I was thinking it might get mighty warm in spots in that courtyard, too, and blindingly bright.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 26 October, 2013, 19:06
I heard about this years ago elsewhere(no offense, seeder) and I agree that this was, and is, an innovative solution to what apparently was a problem.
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 26 October, 2013, 19:14
I was thinking it might get mighty warm in spots in that courtyard, too, and blindingly bright. I think it's a wide enough illumination to not cause "hot-spots" And it's no more bright, actually slightly less, than the Sun being overhead(due to the way the mirrors are aligned) But I haven't been there, and could be wrong.
Comment icon #7 Posted by seeder on 26 October, 2013, 22:20
I loved this comment under the article And all 7 people who live there climbed out of the shadows to enjoy the spot of sunlight. :-D
Comment icon #8 Posted by brlesq1 on 26 October, 2013, 23:15
Good for them. I couldn't imagine what it'd be like to live without sun for 5-6 months out of a year. Betting they'll try to make those mirrors into a tourist attraction.
Comment icon #9 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON on 26 October, 2013, 23:25
Hmm I can see it now the whole town coming out to sunbathe the local sunglasses dealer finally does a good trade & the solarium owner go's out of business & the melanoma's start to appear.
Comment icon #10 Posted by seeder on 27 October, 2013, 9:28
Might it just be easier and better to live on top of the mountain?
Comment icon #11 Posted by CRYSiiSx2 on 28 October, 2013, 1:59
im gonna throw rocks at them
Comment icon #12 Posted by Oppono Astos on 30 October, 2013, 19:19
This will only end in disaster, have they never seen the Thunderbirds episode Lord Parker's 'Oliday?

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