Norway Town Sees Winter Sun For the First Time Thanks to $849,300 Worth of Mirrors

Oct 31, 2013 04:56 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Sunshine isn't common this time of year in the Norwegian town of Rjukan, but thanks to three expensive mirrors, locals were able to see the sun for the first time in wintertime on Oct. 30.

The project helped locals realize a century-old dream, according to Reuters.

Approximately 1,000 people, including children who could be seen wearing sunglasses and with yellow suns painted on their faces, roared when the sun finally broke through clouds to light up the main square in Rjukan, which usually dark from early Oct. through March.

"It's a crazy idea, but a bit of madness is fun," said Oystein Haugan, according to Reuters. "We hope this will bring joy to people here."

Haugan led the 5 million crown ($849,300) project to build the three mirrors with a combined surface area of 550 sq. ft. that's capable of tracking the sun via computer.

The reflected sunlight, which covers approximately 6,500 sq. ft., was designed to establish a meeting spot for "sun-starved locals" and attract tourist, according to Reuters.

The reflected light will be approximately 80 percent as bright as the real sun, according to organizers.

The sun usually sets on October 4 behind the mountain and isn't seen again until March 12.

Not everyone in Rjukan is in favor of the mirrors however.

"I am resigned to them now," said Jan Hagalia, 63, said according to Reuters. "It costs a lot. And the mirrors will have to be maintained, cleaned. That will mean a lot of expensive helicopter trips."

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