Saturday, April 8, 2006


Lifting the Winter Dark

`Springtime light may lift the spirits, but in Rattenberg, residents have a long memory for shadows. From late fall to midwinter, this tiny Austrian town, famous for its glassblowing, gets no sun at all. And it has been that way for centuries. Next time, though, the villagers may finally see the light–thanks to giant rotating mirrors known as heliostats.

Bartenbach Light Laboratory in the Austrian Tyrol plans to begin construction of the heliostats this August. “The idea is not just to light the village,” says Silvia Pezzana, an engineer at the firm. “The idea is to give them the impression they have sun.”‘

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