The Town Of Rjukan Gets Sunlight From Giant Mirrors

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

The town center of Rjukan, Norway, received sunlight for the first time in 2013. Three giant mirror systems-called heliostats-reflect the light down onto 600 square meters of the market square, defying the steep mountains that once shrouded the valley town in shadow. The idea of using mirrors for this purpose was first proposed in 1913, but back then, the town lacked the technology to carry it out.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The heliostats above Rjukan reflect sunlight onto the town's center from September to March. 00:06

  2. The idea of using mirrors to give Rjukan sunlight was around 100 years old when the mirrors were installed in 2013. 00:47

  3. Before the heliostats were installed, residents of Rjukan had to take a cablecar up to the mountains to feel the sunlight. 01:13

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.