<p><a href="http://www.nationalgeographic.com/125/"> <img style="margin: 3px 12px 10px -1px; float:left; border:0px;" src="http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/graphic/125-logo-cb1370450381.png" alt="Image of the 125 Anniversary logo" width="72" height="72"> </a><strong>How far will some people go to feel the sun on their faces? For one Norwegian town, the answer is $847,000 and a big engineering project.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In Rjukan (population 3,400), the money was spent on three large mirrors, called "heliostats." The mirrors, which were installed on a mountain above the town, are angled to follow the sun and reflect light down to street level.</p> <p dir="ltr">Located roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Oslo, Rjukan is tucked in a valley at the foot of <a href="http://www.visitnorway.com/us/Product/?pid=30725">Gaustatoppen Mountain</a>. The surrounding mountains shield the town from direct sunlight for five to six months of the year, making for a long, cold winter for residents.</p> <p dir="ltr">One hundred years ago, locals had suggested putting mirrors on the mountains to beam sunlight down, but that idea didn't come to fruition until 2005, when local resident Martin Andersen, an artist, launched "<a href="http://www.visitnorway.com/us/Product/?pid=30978">The Mirror Project</a>."</p> <p dir="ltr">The mirrors will be <a href="http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/29/how-a-norwegian-village-will-make-the-sun-shine/">officially dedicated</a> on October 31, 2013. Weather permitting, of course.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>—Brian Clark Howard</em></p> <p>(See "<a href="http://onward.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/17/bringing-sun-to-a-norweigian-city-in-the-shadows/">Bringing Sun to a Norwegian City in the Shadows</a>.")</p>

Mirror, Mirror on the Mountain

Image of the 125 Anniversary logo How far will some people go to feel the sun on their faces? For one Norwegian town, the answer is $847,000 and a big engineering project.

In Rjukan (population 3,400), the money was spent on three large mirrors, called "heliostats." The mirrors, which were installed on a mountain above the town, are angled to follow the sun and reflect light down to street level.

Located roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Oslo, Rjukan is tucked in a valley at the foot of Gaustatoppen Mountain. The surrounding mountains shield the town from direct sunlight for five to six months of the year, making for a long, cold winter for residents.

One hundred years ago, locals had suggested putting mirrors on the mountains to beam sunlight down, but that idea didn't come to fruition until 2005, when local resident Martin Andersen, an artist, launched "The Mirror Project."

The mirrors will be officially dedicated on October 31, 2013. Weather permitting, of course.

—Brian Clark Howard

(See "Bringing Sun to a Norwegian City in the Shadows.")

Photograph by Tore Meek, Scanpix/EPA

Pictures: Mirror Beams Light to Norwegian Town in Winter for First Time

Thanks to new big mirrors called heliostats, the town of Rjukan, Norway, west of Oslo, is getting sunlight beamed down to the square from surrounding mountains.

Read This Next

The science behind seasonal depression
These 3,000-year-old relics were torched and buried—but why?
How the Holocaust happened in plain sight

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet