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Sat TV restored to Kiwiland, Oz

What's that Skippy? Sky blames yesterday's solar eclipse for the outage?

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The satellite outage that floored Sky TV services "down under" yesterday appears to have been resolved, although what caused thousands of people to be left twiddling their thumbs last night remains unclear.

Sky spokesman Tony O'Brien told Radio New Zealand that the glitch was caused by yesterday's solar eclipse, which blocked light reaching the satellite's solar cells.

These had to be recharged before the operator could complete a realigning process.

But this theory has been thrown into some doubt by a senior astronomer from Wellington's Carter Observatory. Stargazer Brian Carter told Stuff: "I can't for the life of me understand how the eclipse could have blocked out enough light because the satellite must be in the shade for a reasonable length of time anyway."

While the cause of yesterday's outage remains unclear, the satellite TV service was up and running after blank screens for 13 hours.

But being without the service was no easy ride.

"Last night I had withdrawal symptoms for the first time in my life," wrote one distraught reader. "I discovered that free-to-air TV provides a choice of Coronation Street (two years old), reality shows about teenagers in prison, people losing weight or a music video (presumably) of some artist and genre I had not previously encountered and have no wish to do so again.

"If this is not grounds for NASA suspending safety concerns with the Shuttle and sending a crack repair team up immediately, I do not know what is."

There, there...all sorted now. ®

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