Town with no sun - level 3
Sunlight at last for the residents of this small town in Norway. The council has placed giant mirrors on top of the hills surrounding the town centre to beam light into it during the dark winter months.
The sides of the valley are so steep and the mountain so high that the town of Rjukan was in shadow for almost half the year until the new invention was added.
“It’s important to have the sun in wintertime, and in this town we didn’t have the sun six months a year in wintertime and the people up here, they want to have the sun down. We have made a cable car to get up to the mountains, take people quickly up to the mountains, but now we also have an older, 100 years old idea, to make them realistic, we take the mirror and reflect the sun down to us. So it’s a crazy idea, but it’s funny and I think the people like it.”
The mirrors are controlled by a computer that follows the path of the sun, adjusting to the best angle to catch the rays and reflect them onto the town centre.
In the past, local residents only got sunshine by taking a cable car to the top of the mountain. But this new invention has been so popular, it’s thought other remote towns in the country will follow suit and build similar projects.
Difficult words: beam (send), adjust (move), ray (line of sun), follow suit (do same thing as somebody else).
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