Sun outages are here. This spring, solar satellite interference will happen today through March 8th.

Solar interference happens when the sun’s path across the sky gets lower each day. The sun is in a direct line behind a communication satellite that is sending signals to a receiving satellite antenna here on earth. When the antenna is looking into the sun, the interference from the sun overrides the signals from the satellite. That’s when a sun outage occurs.

At first, the effects of a sun outage are minimal. But they will gradually worsen to the point of total outage. Some channels will experience “macro-blocking” or “tiling” of the picture before and after peak times. These are the channels we receive digitally from the satellite.

Sun outages typically last as long as 15 minutes a day. The effects of a sun outage vary in degree from minimal to total outage. Once it reaches its peak, the interference will gradually decrease, becoming less noticeable each day after.