ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Astronomy & Space Exploration

Did Your TV and Internet Service Go Out? Sun Outages During the Fall and Spring Equinox to Blame

Updated on May 25, 2018
Catherine Stolfi profile image

Catherine is an independent research consultant at NASA Langley with degrees in English, Biology, and Environmental Science (M.S.).

Source

Sun outages are a phenomenon that happens twice a year and your providers may send you notices about this, as it can directly affect your TV, mobile and internet service. In the northern hemisphere, satellite downlink sites experience reception interruptions due to the transition of the sun during the spring and fall Equinox. We more familiarly associate this with the changing of the clocks. We are also more familiar with the sun outages than the term it’s associated with in the scientific world, the Equinox.

The Equinox, coming from the Latin words aequus (meaning equal) and nox (meaning night), simply means that, during the peak, daytime and nighttime are the same length. Every day until the next Equinox the night will be longer than the day in the northern hemisphere and the day will be longer than the night in the southern hemisphere. These are in March and September every year.

In ancient civilizations, the spring meant the start of the planting season and these astronomical alignments were important for survival and potential food for that season. The Equinox, astronomically, happens when the sun rises on the eastern horizon, halfway between its extreme winter position and its extreme summer position. The equinox marks different events depending on the hemisphere; the September equinox, for example, marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere but spring in the south. As the Northern Hemisphere enters the fall season, losing hours of daylight, the Southern Hemisphere enters the spring season and gains hours of daylight.

The spring and fall equinox is at the same time for everyone around the word. It occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator, from north to south.

The Equinox spans 10 days twice a year; one is called the vernal equinox, which takes place in March, while the other is called autumnal equinox, which takes place in September. Satellite TV interference and Internet service disruptions are experienced as the sun passes behind the belt of communication satellites. The sun aligns directly above the satellite and the downlink antenna which results in service interruptions. There is a peak time during the ten day span but slowly depletes until the end of the equinox period.

Your cable TV can be interrupted and often your provider will either post an article about it on their website informing of the issue or actually send you a message via e-mail or snail mail so you’re aware of what’s causing the interruption if it were to occur. Your cable company may give a range of days to expect possible outages which are usually around the end of March and the end of September or early October. Interruption can include momentary freezing or buffering and even loss of certain channels.

Internet is not as commonly lost because your internet, even if from the same provider, could be using a different source link for the service to reach you. For example on Saint Helena, an island east of Rio de Janeiro in the South Atlantic Ocean, contends with island-wide loss of internet and telecommunications during sun outages because all the signals come from a single satellite link. Alaska has also been known to experience the same.

For those of us on main land in more populated areas your service provider will always link your service to multiple satellite transmissions thus we are safe from losing our online access. However, we need to keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t disrupt the new episode of the Bachelor or whatever TV craze is happening at the time. If it does, stay off Twitter until your service is restored to avoid those spoilers!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)