A natural phenomenon that happens twice a year could interrupt the 89.9 WJCT-FM’s programming shortly before 2 p.m. each day this week.
It’s called a solar outage, and it happens when the sun’s rays block our ability to receive satellite signals.
That could mean we may lose contact with our satellite programming for as much as five minutes, which would in turn mean you might hear silence for several minutes on 89.9 FM or wjct.org’s live stream.
The programming should return to normal as soon as the sun passes.
Again, outages are expected just before 2 p.m. every day this week because of the sun’s interference.
NPR’s Public Radio Satellite Systems explains it this way:
A solar or sun transit outage is an electromagnetic phenomenon wherein a station downlink is temporarily unable to receive a satellite signal due to interference from the sun as it passes behind the satellite.
Solar outages occur on a predictable schedule and affect downlinks in the U.S. for about five consecutive days, for as much as six minutes a day, twice each year.