As the popular "Game of Thrones" meme goes, winter is coming. In theNorthern Hemisphere, for some towns, that means a literally gloomy five to six months with no direct sunlight is on its way. But like one town before it, Rjukan, Norway, is adapting to the lack of light with a novel workaround — giant mirrors to reflect the sun into its town square. Viganella, Italy, began an experiment with mirror sunlight in 2006, setting up 430 square feet of giant mirrors on a hilltop that moved via robotic control along with the sun all day long. Like Viganella, Rjukan sits at the bottom of a deep valley, with the same sunlight problems. They used helicopters to install the mirrors recently and just tested the system last week. And voilà, the small town was suddenly alight with thousands of square feet of direct sunlight per day, much better than the permanent shadow that winter provided previously. That's one way to shed some light on a longtime problem.
- Natural Phenomena