Norwegian town built giant mirrors to provide artificial sunlight for 5 months out of the year


Imagine living at a place where having a 5 months nighttime cycle (i.e. no sunlight for 5 months) every year is a regular thing. How would you attempt to fix such a problem? Well, a Norse town in Norway has a similar problem where constant darkness begins in September and ends in March; this is due to the mountain blocking the sun each time winter comes along. The town in question is called Rjukan, it was established sometime between 1905 and 1916 and was given official township back in 1996. By looking at the year the town came to be, one is able to tell how long this town has been under total and complete darkness, so it would come as no surprise if news broke of vampires living in Rjukan.


To combat against a near 6 months of darkness, Norwegian engineers placed three massive rectangular mirrors on top of the mountain facing the sun. The plan here is to have the sunlight hit these mirrors, which should in turn provide light for the over 3500 populations of Rjukan. While it all sounds great on paper, limitations are present here. For example, the beam of light coming from the mirrors will only shine on the town square, so if citizens want light, that’s where they will need to be:

“The project will result in a permanent installation which, with the help of the 300 square foot mirrors, will redirect the sun down into the valley. The square will become a sunny meeting place in a town otherwise in shadow.”

Interestingly enough, Rjukan isn’t the first place to have an artificial sun in Europe, this prize goes to Viganella, a small town situated in the Alps. We’d like to think folks living at Rjukan pretty much enjoy the darkness, and probably have a TV show called “Who Wants To Be A Vampire.” Jokes aside, these mirrors providing artificial light are a technical marvel, hopefully engineers would soon be able to emit light over the whole town.

[via Popular Mechanics]

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