Mirror, Mirror, on the Mountain...

May 2, 2018

Cap clouds or foehn walls appear as stationary clouds that hover over the tops of mountain peaks.  A row of small, curving clouds that resemble ocean waves also form around mountain ranges and are called Kelvin-Helmholtz. From November through February the village of Rattenberg, Austria is virtually in the dark.  There’s plenty of sunshine in this area but a 3,000 foot mountain completely blocks the sunlight to Rattenberg.  Markus Peskollera was the director of Lichtlabor, an Austrian company that used reflector technology to bring sunshine to European villages that are plagued with winter darkness.  The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reported that Peskoller and his company installed 30 heliostats to re-direct sunshine.  Heliostats are mechanically rotating mirrors that grab the sunshine from reflectors that are positioned at neighboring villages. Once the mirrors capture the light they systematically spill the sunlight around the mountain and bathe Rattenberg with sunshine. "Mirror, mirror on the mountain, who is the favorite of them all..."

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