a big win for america, planet mercury to cross sun’s face today

we won today America won today

Dems take house

Fed up with the Iraq war, a scandal-plagued Republican-controlled Congress and President Bush, voters on Tuesday handed control of the U.S. House of Representatives to the Democratic Party.

And this ( satire alert), Republicans Blame Election Losses On Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC—Republican officials are blaming tonight’s GOP losses on Democrats, who they claim have engaged in a wide variety of “aggressive, premeditated, anti-Republican campaigns” over the past six-to-18 months. “We have evidence of a well-organized, well-funded series of operations designed specifically to undermine our message, depict our past performance in a negative light, and drive Republicans out of office,” said Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who accused an organization called the Democratic National Committee of spearheading the nationwide effort. “

Two phenomenons in one day, A Rare Planet Event

Usually you expect to see planets at night, but in broad daylight on Wednesday, November 8th, the planet Mercury will cross the face of the Sun.

It will be visible in silhouette through a telescope with a safe solar filter placed securely over the front. Mercury will “transit” the Sun for about five hours, looking like a tiny round sunspot creeping westward across the enormous surface of our home star.

Transits of Mercury don’t happen very often. The last was on May 7, 2003, and the next doesn’t come until May 9, 2016.

Well-prepared observers will see Mercury edge onto the Sun’s face around 2:12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (1:12 p.m. Central, 12:12 p.m. Mountain, 11:12 a.m. Pacific). Watchers in western North America can see the entire transit, which ends when Mercury slips off the Sun’s edge at 4:10 p.m. Pacific time. Farther east, the Sun will set while the transit is still in progress.

How to Watch

Of course, you’ll have to be Sun-safe! You can burn a permanent blind spot in your eye’s retina by trying to observe the Sun without proper protection — and a telescope makes the danger more intense.

You’ll need a safe solar filter designed to go over the front of your telescope. Alternatively, you can project the Sun’s image out of the eyepiece of a telescope or binoculars onto a white card held a foot or two away; turn the focus knob to get a sharp image of the Sun on the card.

For details and illustrations see “How to Watch a Partial Solar Eclipse Safely” at SkyTonight.com/eclipse. SkyTonight.com is the website of SKY & TELESCOPE and NIGHT SKY magazines — both of which have more about the transit and how to observe it in their current issues.