Fake sun shines on Norway

The sun mirrors to be used in Rjukan, Norway. Credit: Karl Martin Jakobsen/Visit Rjukan
The sun mirrors to be used in Rjukan, Norway.
Credit: Karl Martin Jakobsen/Visit Rjukan

Imagine living without sun for five to six months of the year. It’s the reality for the citizens of Rjukan, Norway. The city is located in a valley, where sunlight doesn’t reach because of the high mountains around it.

The city has decided to bring back an idea from 100 years ago to produce artificial sunlight using mirrors.

We spoke to Rjukan’s tourist manager, Karin Rø, about the details behind the project.

Metro: Why did you decide to bring the sun to Rjukan?

Karin Rø: The idea is 100 years old, from 1913. The valley is without sun for five to six months in wintertime, because of the high mountains around. The town was built up 100 years ago to produce artificial fertilizer. We had the source to all the power needed (from) the waterfall Rjukanfossen.

So where did the idea come from?

The founder of the factory and town, Sam Eyde, (believed) that the people needed sun to be well, and wellbeing people would produce best. He didn’t manage to realize this idea. Instead (neighboring town) Krossobanen was built in 1928. Then the people could get to the sun, instead of the sun down to the people. In 2005 a local artist launched the idea again. After some work he was able to finance this project, [which] is now being realized!

How did the citizens react when you said you’d be providing them with sunlight?

The citizens have been split. Some like the idea, some [say] it is waste of money that should have been used in another way.

What materials will the artificial sun be made out of?

The Mirror is (made of) “real mirrors,” not aluminum like other projects. It will be completed this autumn. They are in place, and now they work on testing, programming etc. Hopefully it is ready when the sun disappears late September.

How big will the “sun spot” be?

The sun spot will be an ellipse shape on 200 square meters. The three mirrors are 51 square meters in total.

Will you be able to tan under this artificial sun?

I don’t know. The sun is not very strong in wintertime, but they say that the reflected light will have between 80 and 100 percent of the effect compared to the light that is captured by the mirrors.

Do you have any plans to try this in other sunless cities?

This is a local project. I don’t know about any other plans for this in other cities. Maybe some want to copy us after this. We know that there are one or two other projects like this in Europe.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.