Missing a few minutes of your favorite show each day? Blame the sun!

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Friday, Oct. 6, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- If you've noticed CBS programming cutting out for a few minutes every afternoon between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., there's actually a reason behind that.

Turns out, the autumn sun could impact News 12 programming every afternoon for a few minutes for a few weeks. This is the Autumn Sun Outage Season, and it lasts until Oct. 12.

The position of the CBS satellite we receive network programming from and our studios on Georgia Avenue always remain in the same Earth orbital position and speed with one another. However, the sun is always changing positions and speeds. GeoSats.com describes this phenomena best:

"The satellites and Earth travel at the same rate of speed and thus stay in the same position in relation to one another. The sun, however, does not travel in this same pattern or at the same rate of speed. There are times when the sun passes behind a satellite that an Earth station is receiving from. When this happens, the satellite's signal is obliterated by the tremendous energy of the sun. The home TVRO owner will lose partial or complete reception from his system for approximately 10 minutes."

There is nothing that we can do here at the station from stopping this from happening. It will last for approximately ten minutes around the same time every afternoon until Oct. 12. when the sun's orbital position is not in interference with our CBS network satellite.

So far, this is only affecting our CBS signal. News 12 receives syndicated programming and NBC from other satellites that are not in the direct path of the sun.

For more information on how the solar outages work, check the following resource:

Predicting Solar Outages - Sun Interference

TrackingSat is a Satellite Tracking Program. TrackingSat is useful to assist users that need to install your antenna and align it with the satellites in orbit.