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Signal, Interrupted: Sun Spots Interfere with Satellites this Week

Update Date: Oct 04, 2012 09:54 AM EDT

Is your cable television signal fuzzy, internet reception spotty or cell phone service dropping in and out? Don't blame your service provider over the next few days, blame the sun.

Expected solar flare activity now through next Thursday is expected to interrupt satellite signals to earth and cause signal interference.

Sun outages happen during the spring and fall when solar radiation interferes with satellite signals, said Matthew Templeton of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.

The sun is currently in a period of maximum activity and solar flares will be at their highest point in years. The last time there was a high period of solar activity; there were few people that relied on things like GPS in their daily lives. Today GPS is a very common technology that millions rely on each day for getting around all over the world. The military also relies on GPS for combat operations.

The coming period of high solar activity and solar flares has some scientists worried that GPS may cause some problems for some users. The researchers point out that the military uses a much more complex GPS system than consumers have access to and military use of GPS should not be affected.

Most cable companies and other service providers who depend on clear satellite signals report that due to technological innovations and system upgrades, they expect minor issues, if any at all. Large scale outages are not expected.

As long as the new season of the Walking Dead is clear---I am fine.

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