Just as a thunderstorm creates magnetic disturbances in the form of lightning caused from the friction created by up & down drafts within the thundercloud. The sun also creates a magnetic disturbance while expending energy in the form of storms, called solar flares, more commonly called SUN SPOTS. When seen through telescopes a sun spot will appear as dark areas of varying size on the suns outer surface.

Sun spots cycle every eleven (11) years, in simple terms: for 5 1/2 years sun spots increase in size and intensity then peak, the next 5 1/2 years they diminish, then the cycle starts over again. Scientists have concluded this 11-year cycle could be connected to atmospheric conditions experienced here on earth. When sun spot activity is low the overall temperature on earth is lowered possibly due to less solar energy coming in contact with our world.

Twice a year, typically in March & October when the sun passes directly behind a satellite, the channels distributed by that satellite would be effected by sun spot activity. When you experience a sun outage on a particular channel, that channel is being affected all over the country. This activity occurs for about two weeks every spring and fall.

What you may experience on a channel is a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or total loss of the channel. This will typically last 5 to 15 minutes.