Sun transits

It's funny sometimes, the things we get used to in the north.

As some of my blogging counterparts/northern readers know... right now is "sun transit" time. That means for the next week or so our internet will be spotty in the early afternoon.

For those not in the know... telesat.ca explains what I'm talking about.

Sun transits occur when the sun crosses the earth's equatorial plane during the spring and fall equinoxes (late February or early March; September or October). At these times, the sun aligns directly behind the satellites for a few minutes each day. When the sun moves directly behind the satellite to your receive antenna, the satellite signal can be overwhelmed by the enormous amount of thermally generated radio frequency (RF) noise radiated by the sun. This can cause reception interference for a few minutes everyday during this occurrence.

The first time this happened (every time it happens... I never learn) I went into trouble-shooting mode. I used different browsers (Firefox is my default, but sometimes sites... especially CBC's internal sites... don't like my alterna-chick-ness), I check the LAN connection I ask co-workers if they are having the same problem...until one of us goes "OH YAH.... it's that time of year again!"

It's never offline for very long, I just started typing up this entry when it started (about 7 minutes ago) and we're back online now... I just repeatedly type "google.ca" into my address bar to see when we're back...

But because we rely on satellites to transmit everything from our television to phone to internet (and lordknows what else... I'm sure if we could transmit food by satellite too if we could... isn't that part of Willy Wonka's factory or something???) we're lucky/happy it's not more of a disruption.

And now that it's over, I simply must head back to work. Tata!


Anonymous February 28, 2009 at 5:00 AM  

That's interesting Jackie. I didn't know anything about the term "sun transit"