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How Do Sun Spots Affect My TV?

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Did you know that twice a year in the spring and fall, the sun perfectly aligns behind satellites and affects your TV viewing?

This generally happens in mid to late afternoon and can last anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.  Twice a year, the sun is perfectly aligned behind satellites and the intensity of the sun overpowers the dishes’ ability to receive signals.  At Midstate Communications, we can't control the sun, and you may experience some tiling, or break up on some channels during this time which will be March 1st through March 4th. 

Here's the technical explanation.

A sun outage, sun transit, or sun fade is an interruption in or distortion of geostationary/geosynchronous satellite signals caused by interference from solar radiation. The effect is due to the sun’s radiation overwhelming the satellite signal.  In the northern hemisphere, sun outages occur before the March equinox (February, March) and after the September equinox (September and October), and in the southern hemisphere the outages occur after the March equinox and before the September equinox.

At these times, the apparent path of the sun across the sky takes it directly behind the line of sight between an earth station and a satellite. The sun radiates strongly across the entire spectrum, so the sun swamps the signal from the satellite. The effects of a sun outage range from partial degradation to total destruction of the signal. The effect sweeps from north to south across the United States but only affects us, in this case for a few consecutive days from March 1st through March 4th between noon and 4 pm. Soon this will bring us Spring and we can all welcome that change!

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