OCT 05, 2015 04:28 PM PDT

Cable Subscribers May Experience 'Sun Outages' This Week

Chances are, almost everyone reading this right now has some kind of cable or Internet service provided through a coaxial connection to their homes. If you do, you may have received some kind of notice from your cable provider letting you know that you may experience outages or disruptions this week.
 
The notices, which are commonly referred to as “Sun Outage” notices, are a respectful gesture from our cable companies to let us know that something with the Sun is about to uncontrollably cause interference issues with their satellites. These Sun outages are typical around this time of the year, every year.
 
The Sun outage occurs when the satellite aligns perfectly (or near perfectly) between the Sun and the Earth, essentially creating an eclipse.
 


The bright Sun rays and radiation that the Sun gives off make it more difficult to receive a clear signal from the satellites. When the satellite is in the same spot of the sky as the Sun, receivers here on Earth have a hard time seeing the satellite and communicating with it.
 
For example, imagine trying to look into the sky to look at an airplane right next to the Sun – it’s not that easy is it? On the other hand, if the plane was on the opposite side of the sky than the Sun, you’d have no trouble looking at it.
 
Christi Whitworth, director of education at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, says that the problem occurs at least twice a year and that the problem can affect anyone that relies a cable company that uses a satellite to transmit information to subscribers.
 
“Everyone whose company uses a satellite to transmit the data of the TV signal has times of year when this would be occurring,” Whitworth explained, “unless they have a satellite orbit that never crosses the sun.”
 
The problem isn’t a huge one, and most likely, not everyone will even notice it happening. The interference can cause distorted images on the television, which includes blocks or lines on the screen, and even poor sound quality, but only for short periods of time. If the interference gets really bad, it can affect the user for up to 15 minutes each day before the cable reception starts working normally again.
 
Since not every cable company is affected, you’ll have to get in touch with yours personally to ask about the solar outage scenario. This way, you’ll be able to get a flat answer on whether or not you can expect to be a victim of the Sun’s alignment with your cable company’s satellite.
 
Hopefully, you won’t miss any of your favorite T.V. shows this week due to Sun outage!

Source: Buzzfeed

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 15, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 15, 2018
Picking a Landing Site On Mars is No Easy Task
When space agencies like NASA send landers and rovers to other places in the solar system to explore, one of the most challenging questions they’re c...
OCT 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 17, 2018
Do Magnetic Fields Influence Supermassive Black Hole Activity?
Black holes have long captivated some of the most brilliant minds in astrophysics, and despite all the space telescope observations astronomers have made o...
OCT 28, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 28, 2018
How NASA's Apollo Program Changed Spaceflight Forever
NASA’s Apollo program trekked carefully along the dangerous line separating risk from reward, and as it would seem, the American space agency may hav...
OCT 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 29, 2018
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Shatters Record for Closest Spacecraft to the Sun
NASA’s Sun-bound Solar Parker Probe has been sailing through outer space for just over two months, and it’s already breaking previously-set rec...
DEC 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 10, 2018
NASA's Voyager 2 Probe Leaves the Heliosphere and Enters Interstellar Space
A nostalgic NASA issued a public statement on Monday to announce that its 41-year-old Voyager 2 spacecraft officially left the heliosphere and entered the ...
DEC 26, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 26, 2018
Are LIGO's Gravitational Wave Detections Real?
Albert Einstein first theorized about the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, and physicists have been on an endless scavenger hunt to observe them e...
Loading Comments...