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A Town in Norway Relies on Giant Mirrors for Sunlight During Winter

Rjukan town in Norway used to miss sunlight for six months during winter. (Image- visitnorway)

Rjukan town in Norway used to miss sunlight for six months during winter. (Image- visitnorway)

Rjukan town in Norway used to miss sunlight for six months during winter.

It is a known and proven fact that the day and night on Earth occurs due to the rotation of the planet. During the rotation when the light of the Sun falls on the Earth, it is called sunrise. Every 24 hours, day and night occur. However, there is a place in this world that used to miss sunlight for many months and people were facing Vitamin D deficiency there. This happened in Rjukan, a Norwegian town situated between two high mountains where residents lived without sunlight for about 6 months. Now, with an innovation, residents can get sunlight even during the winter in a particular area.

The city is located in the valley near the Telemark area of Southern Norway. The city was developed as a hydro powerhouse for all those workers working in Norsk Hydro, a  Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company.

The city was built between 1905 and 1916 by its founder and entrepreneur Sam Eyde who constructed a hydroelectric power plant there. To help factory workers to provide sunlight, he dreamed of making a giant mirror to deflect the sunlight to get a bit of  rays by 1913, however it could not happen during his lifetime. As an alternative, a gondola lift, also known as an aerial tramway or cryopen, was built to take citizens into the mountains so that they could get vitamin D.

Local people and artist Martin Anderson worked hard to make Sam’s dream come true.  After a wait of almost 100 years, the ‘Rjukan sun mirror’ was officially used and now the local residents can take sunlight in an area of 6,500 square feet of the city. With the help of mirrors, about 80 per cent of the sun’s rays are sent towards the city.

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After the installation of this mirror, the Project Manager of the city, Austin Hougen said that the mirrors have helped people a lot, as well as promoting tourism. According to the information, in the year 2015, this place was recognized as the eighth UNESCO World Heritage Site of Norway.

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first published:July 18, 2021, 08:35 IST