‘Sun Fade’ Phenomena to Impact Cable Customers Around the Globe

When a baseball player looks up into the afternoon sky for what should be a routine fly ball out and suddenly looks lost, it’s pretty clear. He lost it in the sun. It was hit at the right height and just the right angle that the ball basically disappeared for a short time, leaving a professional athlete ducking for cover.

The moral of the story: the sun can get in the way sometimes. That’s true for cable signals, too. In fact, it’s a phenomena that happens twice each year where the sun disrupts cable signals around the world. The event is referred to as sun fade, sun outage or sun transit, and it basically can blind satellites for a short time just like an outfielder.

Sun fade happens when solar radiation interrupts or distorts satellite signals. This happens annually in the spring and fall. The path of the sun takes it directly behind the line of sight between a satellite and its station on Earth. The result is a weaker signal (viewers seeing pixelated or skipping images) or the signal will be completely lost. The duration is brief, typically less than 12 minutes per day for a few days each season.

We’ve busted out the calculators and it appears that the window of time that may receive the largest interference is between October 2 and October 10 for approximately 15 minutes around 1:30 p.m. each day. That said, this is only an estimate and can’t account for sun fade impacting individual channels. It’s more to give you an idea of what to expect so you know if and when it happens.

If you observe channel loss for more than 15 minutes, you may have a larger issue that goes beyond sun fade. In that case, contact Hargray at 843.686.1138.