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WASHINGTON — If you lose your television signal next week, it might be because the satellite is getting a tan.

Officials from the Defense Media Center announced that viewers of American Forces Network television and listeners of AFN radio may experience brief programming interruptions due to the spring “sun outage” period, which runs from Feb. 28 to March 12.

The phenomena occurs every spring and fall, when the AFN satellite passes directly between the Earth and the sun. Officials said that during the alignment, the sun’s radiation overpowers the satellite feed, disrupting the broadcast.

Outages are expected to be brief but could last up to several minutes, officials said.

Larry Sichter, chief of AFN’s Program Operations Division, said the interference affects all television and radio satellites, but is more inconvenient for troops overseas because often AFN is their only broadcast option.

The sun outages will be the most severe between March 4 and March 9, especially around midday.


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