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Sun mirrors brighten dark town

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 01:14

Oct. 30 - Three giant mountain mirrors bring much needed sunlight to residents of a shaded Norwegian town situated at the bottom of a narrow valley. Tara Cleary reports.

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Life just got a whole lot brighter for residents of the Norwegian town of Rjukan. Three giant mirrors erected on the mountainside capture the sun's rays and reflect them down onto the town square. Totaling 51 square meters, that's 55 square yards, the mirrors create a glow that's between 80 and 100 percent as bright as direct sunlight. The idea is the brainchild of artist and town resident, Martin Anderson. SOUNDBITE: Martin Anderson, artist and town resident, who launched the idea of the sun mirrors, saying (Norwegian): "These three heliostats beam the sun down to the Rjukan square as a kind of a health project to promote the well-being of the people in the shade." Rjukan is situated at the bottom of a narrow valley and during the winter, the roughly 3,000 inhabitants endure perpetual shade. Project manager for the sun mirrors Oystein Haugan, says they're not a new concept -- first proposed in 1913, they just never saw the light of day. SOUNDBITE: Oystein Haugan, Sun Mirror project manager, saying (English): "We now have the sun down to the town square people are coming here, they're taking pictures, they're laughing and have a good time." And basking in the glow of brighter winters.

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Sun mirrors brighten dark town

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 01:14