Norway Town Sees Sunlight in Winter for First Time, Thanks to Ginormous Mirrors

Let there be light

A town named Rjukan in the Norwegian valley has been stuck in a pit of winter darkness for all of its existence, until now. Martin Andersen, a local artist, devised a plan to set up three giant mirrors across a mountain to bring sunlight to the area, which typically gets zero rays between September and March… and it worked!

Andersen's mirrors are called heliostats. They trace the movement of the sun and reflect beams directly onto Rjukan's main square. As of now, they're flashing light all over the place.

People are so excited by the breakthrough, they don't know what to do but stand around and look at each other and feel warm. Evidently, the sun moves so low across the sky in winter, the only previous way to tan your face was by taking a cable car to the top of the mountain.

Basking in the sun

Surprisingly, Andersen is not the first to have the idea. The Daily Mail reports that a worker at the nearby hydroelectric plant thought it up a hundred years ago, but it was Anderson who secured the funding and proposed the design necessary to bring it to fruition.

The mirrors are super fancy, too. A computer controls the functionality and shifts their position as the sun moves, adjusting to the best angle to ensure the town square is bright. No need for Windex, because solar panels power equipment that automatically washes the mirrors and moves them into position.

Ray of light

Rjukans can officially dig out their cool shades and celebrate. Now, time to have some fun with the moon…