OCT 05, 2015 4:28 PM PDT

Cable Subscribers May Experience 'Sun Outages' This Week

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
FEB 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 16, 2020
Just How Powerful is a Piece of Space Debris?
One of the most commonly discussed topics in space science today is the space junk problem, in which space junk collides ...
FEB 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 23, 2020
InSight Will Attempt to Push Down on its Mole Instrument
NASA’s sent its Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to ...
MAR 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 22, 2020
SpaceX to Send Astronauts to the ISS for the First Time in May
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program opened the door to the possibility that American commercial space companies like Bo ...
MAR 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 30, 2020
If Gravity Has Mass, This Could Explain Dark Energy
The Big Bang purportedly transpired 13.8 billion years ago, and even so, the universe continues to expand even today. Bu ...
APR 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 21, 2020
Did This Interstellar Comet Reveal Vital Clues About its Origins?
Oumuamua received tons of attention from astronomers once it was confirmed to be an interstellar object of unknown origi ...
MAY 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 04, 2020
The Science Behind Brown Dwarfs
Outer space is chock-full of stars and planets orbiting them, but there’s a fine line between what makes a star a ...
Loading Comments...