spaceweather - EQUINOX SUN OUTAGES

From: Kevin Fetter (
Date: Mon Mar 07 2011 - 14:28:37 UTC

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    EQUINOX SUN OUTAGES: Many readers reported an intermittant loss of satellite TV reception over the weekend. Was the sun to blame? Yes and no. It is likely that the sun caused the problem, but not because of solar flares. Now is the time of year for the "equinox conjunction," when the sun lines up with the satellite and the receiving satellite dish. When this happens, radio interference from the sun competes with signals from the satellite and can create noise levels several decibels higher than normal. The problem, which typically persists for 5 to 15 minutes, is referred to as a "sun outage" and is often confused with sunspot or solar flare activity.
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