In northern Italy, 130 kilometers from Milan, is the tiny village of Viganella. Local residents call it "Siberia". The thing is that the village is located at the very bottom of a mountain valley, therefore, from November 11 to February 2, the sun's rays do not penetrate here.
Naturally, the population of Viganella did not like living for several months without sunlight, and about 200 people live here. So people began to think: is it possible to create an artificial sun, with the help of which it will be possible to illuminate the village in winter?
Someone came up with the idea to install on the mountain, at an altitude of 870 meters, a mirror canvas with an area of 40 square meters, which will reflect the sun's rays and direct them to Viganella.
This unusual venture received widespread media coverage. First, a note appeared in a local newspaper, then in a regional one, and then in foreign popular science magazines. Many companies from Germany, Switzerland and the USA have expressed their interest in this project. True, the residents of Viganella showed patriotism and preferred to work with Italian manufacturers.
But here, the local mayor Pierfranco Midalli faced another problem: it was necessary to find money for the implementation of this unusual project. And the amount required was considerable - about 100, 000 euros. Fortunately, the attempt to create an "artificial sun" was already known in various countries of the world and sponsors willing to allocate money were found.
In December 2006, a reflective surface was installed on the mountain above Viganella, which is a steel sheet measuring five by eight meters and weighing more than a ton. This structure is equipped with a special computer control, thanks to which the position of the sun is tracked and the mirror is rotated so that the sun's rays hit the village evenly. At the same time, the mirror can only illuminate about 300 square meters, so the computer makes sure that each section of the village receives its portion of light.
The mayor of the village noticed that even the mood of the inhabitants of Viganella had changed after the installation of the "solar mirror". If earlier, after the end of Sunday mass, they were in a hurry to go home, now people increasingly began to gather in the central square of the village.
This is how the artificial sun changed the life of an entire village.