Innovation

Giant Mirrors to Help Illuminate Norwegian Town

Goes through five months of darkness in the winter

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In the midst of five months of darkness this coming winter, the Norwegian town of Rjukan will have one bright spot: a town square illuminated by sunlight bounced off giant mirrors placed atop the town's neighboring mountains.

Call it a mood enhancer. Or a tourist attraction. But the mirrors, which will be carried in via helicopter, will provide an oasis of light in an otherwise bleak location at the center of the 3500-population town.

Three mirrors with a total surface area of about 538 square feet will sit at an angle to redirect winter sun down into the town, lighting up over 2150 square feet of concentrated space in the town square. A similar idea exists in the Italian village of Viganella, which has used brushed steel to reflect light since 2006.