The SUN?!

It's that wonderful time of year again where the leaves change colors, the temperature gets cooler, the cable goes out because of the sun... wait, what?

Yes folks, it's Sun Outage time. It happens a few times a year, and can seriously mess with your cable! Here's the low-down:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sun outage is an interruption in or distortion of geostationary satellite signals caused by interference from solar radiation. The effect is due to the sun's radiation overwhelming the satellite signal. Generally, sun outages occur in February, March, September and October, that is, around the time of the equinoxes. 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. As the sun radiates strongly at the microwave frequencies used to communicate with satellites (C-band and Ku band) the sun swamps the signal from the satellite. The effects of a sun outage can include partial degradation, that is, an increase in the error rate, or total destruction of the signal.

Here's some info for the techy people out there from the HITS Satellite page:

Twice each year, the sun is positioned directly in line with the ground-based satellite dish antennas used to receive CATV programming. This positioning causes programming interruptions as the sun’s energy overpowers the C and Ku band signals transmitted by the satellites.

When the HITS Quantum digital signal is interrupted by the sun’s energy, the set top converter displays “One Moment Please” on the affected channel(s). This condition will be present for several minutes each day during the sun outage period, which lasts for several days. Because the HITS receives some of the programming used in the HITS lineup via satellite, some HITS programming services will be lost twice during this period as HITS experiences receive outages.

So, folks... Keep this in mind if you experience blips in your cable network programming!We're not making it up!