Just Move Already: Valley Town In Norway Installs Giant Mirrors To Avoid Months Of No Direct Sunlight

July 26, 2013

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The Norwegian town of Rjukan sits in a deep valley that receives no direct sunlight for 82 days of the year. So what did the town do? Pack up their bags, burn the village to ashes, and move somewhere else? NOPE. Installed three 300-foot mirrors to aim a single beam of light into the town square. *standing in beam* Weird, I still feel depressed.

A few days ago, helicopters descended on the 3,500-person town to install three huge rectangular mirrors on the face of the mountains that pin Rjukan in on either side. Technically, these are heliostatic mirrors, which are controlled by a central computer that tilts their positioning to reflect the sun onto a specific, static location.


The "hot spot," in this case, is a 2,000-square-foot circle on the town square--soon to be converted into an ice rink (apparently, the reflected light still won't be terribly warm).

Okay, so here's the plan-- "Use a giant magnifying glass to concentrate the beam and set the town ablaze?!" What? No! Well, not until they fail to deliver the ransom anyways. Remember: good plans have steps.

Hit the jump for a shot of the town and the conceptual light beam (which won't be tested until September).

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Thanks to Jaucet and Lindsay, who purposefully leave hand mirrors resting precariously on the bathroom sink with the hopes a roommate will break them and get bad luck. Damn, that's cold!

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