A Norwegian village with sunlight thanks to three huge mirrors


by Esteban Tejedor

Posted on May 28, 2020

A Norwegian village with sunlight thanks to three huge mirrors

Did you know that vitamin D keeps depression away and regulate circadian sleep cycles? The biggest natural resource of such vitamin is natural lighting. However, there are places on our planet where people receive very few hours of sunlight, especially in certain seasons.

In a remote Norwegian town called Rjukan, people live without light for six months a year! The reason, the shadow of the mountains surrounding their deep valley do not let the sun light the streets. However, that is not completely true, thanks to the giant mirrors they have installed in the mountains.

They are three computer-controlled mirrors that track the sun and keep the bright light pointed at the city centre. Locals call these mirrors "Solspeilet" or Sun Mirror. They are 500 meters above the city and readjust every 10 seconds as the sun moves across the sky.

The idea was implemented in 2013 by Martin Andersen, an artist who moved to town and couldn't bear the lack of sun. In this way, he persuaded local authorities to realize a proposal that changed the enclave forever. It cost around $ 800,000.

But that was not the first person who had thought about it: more than a century ago, engineer Sam Eyde, also a resident of Rjukan, had a similar idea, discarded for not having the necessary technology at hand. Instead, he orchestrated the construction of a cable car in 1928 so that locals could travel to see the sunlight.

With Eyde's idea finally implemented in 2013, local residents can spend time in the sunlight, while the town has become a prominent tourist attraction in the Nordic country thanks to this creative engineering.

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