When your satellite reception goes out there can be any number of things behind it: Distance, weather, human error. But there's also an astronomical phenomenon that (at least a couple times a year) is responsible for some of those temporary outages we experience.

In response to this thread asking you to spill the hidden secrets of your industries, commenter LordRae filled us in on the biannual reason that your satellites may be temporarily on the fritz — and the solar ballet that's behind it all:

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Twice every year satellite dishes will stop working for a few minutes a day for about a week. These are known as Sun Outages and there are many tools to calculate the outage depending on the size of your dish, which satellite you have it pointed at and where you are located. Essentially your dish is staring at the sun for those few minutes and the signal is not able to pass through while it is blinded. I've had stations call because they stopped getting a feed and after explaining to them it's a sun outage they still ask "Well can you do anything?". It's fun to say hang on let me move the sun and put them on a hold for a minute or two. Then ask "How is it now?""Great thanks for the assist!" lol.

Image: Artist's conception of a GPS satellite / NASA

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