February 28, 2020 0 Categories Internet, Safety/Security

What is a Solar Outage?

It’s not surprising that many people don’t notice or know when a solar outage occurs. After all, it only occurs twice a year for a very short period. With the next one occurring in the next few weeks, this article will dive into what exactly a sun outage is and address some common questions.

What is a Solar Outage?

Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, the sun passes directly in line with Earth communication satellites in geostationary orbit (which basically means satellites in space that move around the Earth at the same speed the Earth is spinning). These satellites are in Earth’s equatorial plane which is the midpoint between the two poles. The sun is a giant source of broadband electromagnetic radiation that over-powers the weaker broadband signals being broadcasted by the satellites to the Earth. The satellite dishes on Earth that normally receive the signals from the orbital satellites instead pick up the much stronger signals coming from the sun. These signals overwhelm the satellite decoders leading to a television signal disruption. What you end up seeing are pixelated images or a blank screen.

How long does it last?

This typically last between 10 and 45 minutes. The amount of disruption varies by location and size of satellite. Luckily, this happens during the day while most of us are at work. It can happen anytime between 11:00am and 5:30pm. Though, if you do happen to be home catching up on your favorite daytime shows, you will be impacted by this event. Once the sun is down, there are no problems. You can expect this to happen each day through the duration of the equinox, normally about a week or so. Again, this happens twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall.

Can I stop this from happening?

No. This is an inevitable event twice a year that we mostly need to bare. Unfortunately, it is out of the control of Reliance Connects and ask for patience as your service will return gradually as the sun continues its path across the sky. The worst disruption occurs when the sun is directly aligned with the satellites and lessens as it continues to move.

Will all my services be affected by this?

No. This will only affect tv service. Internet and phone services will remain intact during the solar outage. This event is not unique to Reliance Connects and will affect all TV service systems receiving signals from those satellites. If you feel something else may be interrupting your service during this time or that it is lasting longer than it should, please do not hesitate to call us. In Estacada & Corbett 503.630.8909 In Mesquite 702.346.5211