If you have ever watched a lightning storm, you know that it is both a beautiful and alarming experience. The power a thunderstorm emits in an abrupt flash stabbing through the air is definitely something to notice. Many people aren’t aware that the sun too can create a magnetic disturbance similar to lightning. When the energy from the sun expands, solar flares are created, better known as sunspots. For around two weeks each fall and spring season, you might notice some channels periodically showing a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or even a total loss. Typically lasting 5 to 15 minutes, the sunspot activity should not cause any worry as it will pass.

So, what exactly causes the disruption in your channels? As the satellites orbit, they eventually will align between the earth and sun. As a result of the mini-eclipse the satellite has formed, the sun’s rays overpower the transmission from the satellite. It is important to note that the effects brought on by sunspot activity is not a cable outage and there is really nothing Great Plains Communications or any other cable provider, is able to do. The sun outages are often country-wide, and the only thing we can all do is wait for it to pass. Luckily, after 5 to 15 minutes of disruption, your program should air as normal.

If the problem has not subsided after 20 minutes, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 so that one of our technicians can look into the issue. For more information on sunspots and the current level of solar activity, visit NASA’s website at https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml.

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