Using Giant Mirrors to Light up Dark Valleys

The villages of Rjukan, Norway, and Viganella, Italy, are both situated in deep valleys where mountains block the sun's rays for up to six months every year. To illuminate those darker winter months, the two towns have built gigantic mirrors that track the sun and reflect daylight downwards. Viganella completed its huge computer-controlled mirror in 2006, and Rjukan followed suit just this month, mounting a mirror that will reflect a 600 square meter (6,500 square foot) beam of sunshine into the town square below.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
Jump to Comments

Most Recent

  • Carl Court/Getty Images

    Photos of the Week: 2/21-2/27

    This week we have a fireball above Calgary, wintry weather from Saudi Arabia to New York City, Iranian speedboats destroying a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier, a Japanese polar bear caretaker robot, Chadian soldiers taking the fight to Boko Haram insurgents, a view of the Moon alongside Venus and Mars, and much more.

  • Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

    A Year of War Completely Destroyed the Donetsk Airport

    In Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport has been reduced from a modern transportation hub to piles of scorched rubble in less than a year of warfare.

  • Wojciech Kruczynski, Poland, Shortlist, Panoramic, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

    The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

    The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, just announced its shortlist of winners. This year's contest attracted 173,444 entries from 171 countries.

  • Natacha Pisarenko/AP

    Investigating the Mysteries of Antarctica

    Every year, thousands of scientists come to Antarctica for research. For a dozen days in January, in the middle of the chilly Antarctic summer, the Associated Press, including photographer Natacha Pisarenko, followed scientists from different fields on the frozen continent.

Join the Discussion