Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hijacking the sun

How much would you pay to harness the power of the sun to keep you warm in these dark days of winter, or illuminate the streets enough for a noontime stroll? It seems cruel to even put a pricetag on such a thing. But then you probably don't live in Viganella, a northern Italian village high up in the Alps. Viganella is famous for receiving no direct sunlight for a 10-week stretch each year beginning in mid-November.

This year, the town got together and funded a 100,000 euro project to bring the sun to its dark corner during the winter months. How, did they achieve such a feat of engineering know-how and scientific ingenuity? They stuck a massive, ugly mirror on the far side of the valley to bounce the suns rays onto the little town. The Beeb has the story here.

In case you're wondering how it works: (again, courtesy of the BBC)

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