The Rjukan sun mirrors will allow a mountain village in Norway to enjoy sunlight in winter for the first time in human history. According to the Visit Norway tourist website, the popular town known for its waterfall and bungee jumping is deprived of sunlight for five months of the year because of the surrounding mountains.
The dark days run from September to March.
Therefore, The Mirror Project is now underway this summer to install mirrors which will capture the sunlight and redirect it down into the valley. “The square will become a sunny meeting place in a town otherwise in shadow,” they said.
The artist’s conception of the project can be seen in the above painting from Martin Andersen for The Mirror Project and Visit Norway.
As you can see on the Rjukan home page, the beautiful town in Norway’s Telemark region does enjoy a cable car that allows visitors and residents to travel to the top of the mountains for a wonderful 360 degree panoramic view. However, if you actually live there, it probably does get old hopping on a cable car for five months out of the year just to see the sun.
Channels Television said that helicopters are now working to install three giant mirrors into place some 1,500 feet high in the mountains surrounding the town. The heliostats, as the Rjukan sun mirrors are called, can track the sun and reflect the light down into the public square.
The project will cost the equivalent of over $800,000 but the high-tech project can even automatically wash its own mirrors. Can your town’s latest tourist gimmick do that?
The final test for The Mirror Project comes in September when the sun disappears and the Rjukan sun mirrors go into service for the first time.
[photo Rjukan sun mirror by Martin Andersen via The Mirror Project/VisitNorway]