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Posts Tagged ‘Perseid meteor shower’

08/05/2019 – Ephemeris – Previewing the Perseid meteor shower

August 5, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 9:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:34. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 12:01 tomorrow morning.

After the Moon sets in the morning hours for the next week and a half the numbers of meteors visible will increase each night. These are members of the Perseid meteor shower of August. The peak this year is expected to be during the morning of the 13th. However by then the Moon will be nearly full. These meteors are the result of debris left along the orbit of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle shed by innumerable visits to the inner solar system. Every year at this time the Earth passes through this trail of debris which intersects its orbit giving rise to the meteor shower. We call them the Perseids, because they appear to come from the direction of the constellation Perseus the hero, which is first seen in the early evening low in the northeast.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Perseid Radiant

The Perseid radiant is located off the highest star in Perseus as it ascends the sky at about 10:30 p.m. The Perseid radiant is circumpolar for observers in northern Michigan. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Swift-Tuttle 1992 plot

The passage of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle through the inner solar system November 1, 1992 to January 30, 1993. The meteoroids shed by the comet on its numerous trips close to the Sun lie close to that orbit. Note that its orbit intersects with the Earth’s orbit. That’s where the Earth will be around August 12-13 every year. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

08/10/2018 – Ephemeris – A busy weekend here and in the skies

August 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 10th. The Sun rises at 6:39. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 8:56. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:45 tomorrow morning.

It’s a busy weekend for the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. Members will be on Front Street in Traverse City tonight for Friday Night Live with views of the Sun and later a look at the planet Saturn and its rings, weather permitting. On Saturday, again weather permitting members will be part of Sleeping Bear Dunes Port Oneida Fair with a Sun ‘n Star Party from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 9 to 11 p.m., though members will still be there in between. The location for that event is the Thoreson Farm on South Thoreson Road off M22, near Port Oneida Road. On tap will be Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and some of the Perseid meteors on the night before its peak night, plus some of the deep sky wonders of the summer Milky Way.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

White light viewing of the Sun

Viewing the Sun with a while light filter at Friday Night Live using Ron Uthe’s telescope at Friday Night Live. Credit Bob Moler

Friday Night Live

After Friday Night Live was over Saturn was visible until about 11 p.m. Credit: Bob Moler.

Star party 2

Star Party at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Thoreson Farm August 2013. Credit Eileen Carlisle.

08/09/2018 – Ephemeris – How to observe the Perseid Meteor Shower

August 9, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 9th. The Sun rises at 6:38. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 8:57. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:30 tomorrow morning.

Now through most of this month and reaching peak numbers Sunday evening and Monday morning the Perseid meteors will be shooting through our skies. Where to look? Up is the direction. All over the sky. They will seem to come from the northeast on parallel paths, like driving through a snow storm at night, the snowflakes will diverge from right in front of you. The numbers will generally increase as that radiant point rises higher in the sky. A diligent experienced, and undistracted, observer may see up to 100 or more an hour. Casual observers will see much less. The longest meteor streaks will be seen early in the evening when the meteoroids enter the atmosphere at 37 miles (59 km) per second at a very shallow angle, so last a bit longer.  Bring a blanket, dress warmly and enjoy the show!

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Perseid Sky Dome Animation

The sky dome for the night of the Perseid shower maximum at 1 hour intervals from 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program and GIMP.

For locations other than the Traverse City/Interlochen area the 10:30 step is approximately an hour and a half after sunset.

My best Perseid photo. From the 70's.

My best Perseid photo. From the 70’s.

Perseid Meteors

Here are some meteors seen in the 2007 Perseid meteor shower taken by Scott Anttila. The image is centered on Cassiopeia. The radiant is low and a bit left of center in the image. The Double Cluster is seen below center and the Great Andromeda Galaxy is seen on the right just above center.

The logic of taking meteor photos pointing near the radiant is the he meteors appear to travel slower there because they are coming mostly toward the camera and have a better chance of being picked up.  My photograph was unguided, so the stars trailed.  Scott’s was guided.

 

08/07/2018 – Ephemeris – The source of the Perseids

August 7, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 7th. The Sun rises at 6:35. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 24 minutes, setting at 9:00. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:18 tomorrow morning.

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak Sunday night and Monday morning, less than a week from now. The meteor shower is caused by tiny particles shed by the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle on past trips through the inner solar system. The 109P means it was recognized as the 109th comet to have seen to return to the vicinity of the Sun to be rediscovered in 1992. Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle first discovered the comet independently in 1862. The orbit of the comet fit the orbits of the meteoroids that produce the Perseid meteor shower each year. The comet will return in 2126 after retreating to 51 times the Earth’s distance from the Sun, deep in the Kuiper belt, leaving behind a trail of meteoroids.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Swift-Tuttle 1992 plot

The passage of 109P/Comet Swift-Tuttle through the inner solar system November 1, 1992 to January 30, 1993. The meteoroids shed by the comet on its numerous trips close to the Sun lie close to that orbit. Note that its orbit intersects with the Earth’s orbit. That’s where the Earth will be around August 12-13 every year. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

08/06/2018 – Ephemeris – The meteors of August, the Perseids are showing up now

August 6, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, August 6th. The Sun rises at 6:34. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 9:01. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:27 tomorrow morning.

Over the past several weeks folks outdoors at night might have been seeing some shooting stars or meteors appearing to zip past in the sky. The ones I’m talking about seem to come from the northeast. These are the precursors of the Perseid meteor shower which will reach its peak on the night of August 12 and 13 this year. Over the millennia the meteoroid stream that feeds the meteors to our skies has spread out to last over a month from the latter half of July to three-quarters of August. We’ll meet the culprit for this show tomorrow. I try to use the proper terminology for all this. Meteoroid is the tiny body in space. In the Perseid’s case the size of a grain of sand to a pea. Meteor is the streak we see in the sky as it burns up.  Meteorite is the body that makes it to the ground.  To my knowledge no Perseid meteoroid has made it that far.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Perseid radiant

The Perseid radiant at 11 p.m. tonight, August 6, 2018. Note that the radiant position is different from what I show on my charts for the month. The radiant there is for the night of the Maximum, August 12th. The radiant point shifts with time due to Earth’s changing position with the meteoroid stream. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Ephemeris Extra – The great meteor shower of August

August 5, 2018 Comments off

This post from the Grand Traverse Astronomical Newsletter “Stellar Sentinel” was written for August of 2018. The dates and times of the peak may change a bit from year to year.

The Perseid meteor shower is the second most active annual meteor shower. The most active is the Geminids of December during a period that’s cold and generally very cloudy here in Northern Michigan. Consequently, I’ve never seen a Geminid meteor.

The Perseid meteor shower is the most famous as the August meteor shower, coming on the warm summer month. In Northern Michigan the radiant of the shower, the point in the sky from which they appear to come, is circumpolar, which means they are visible anytime in dark skies from dusk to dawn.

The Perseids are so named because they appear to come from near the constellation of Perseus the hero, an autumn constellation that starts the evening low in the northeast and rises and moves to high in the east near dawn. In earlier times these meteors were called the Tears of St. Lawrence, who was martyred in AD 255. His Feast day is August 10th, the day he died, which falls very close to the peak activity of the shower.

The Perseid meteors are visible for over a month from about July 17th to August 24th, with peak activity between August 12th at 4 p.m. to August 13th at 4 a.m. EDT. So the peak activity will partially be during our night hours, and the one day old Moon will not interfere at all. The peak hourly rate may reach 100 per hour at times. All things being equal, the higher the radiant is in the sky the greater the numbers of meteors seen. The Perseid radiant will be rising all night, being highest as the first light of dawn appears. Even though the numbers of meteors are fewer I like to start looking by 10:30 p.m. With the radiant low in the sky, the meteoroid particles we see are almost skimming the atmosphere, lasting longer. There’s is nothing so cool as to see a bright Perseid meteor seeming to fly along the Milky Way. The radiant point is in the Milky Way between Perseus below, and Cassiopeia above.

Perseid Radiant

The Perseid radiant is located off the highest star is Perseus as it rises about 11 p.m. August 12, 2018. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Observing this meteor shower is very easy and one needs no special equipment. A blanket to lie on, mosquito repellent, warm clothes, some water and snacks, if staying the night, and a dark location. My preferred location is the Dune Climb at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It has no light, except the occasional car lights and has modern restroom facilities and a low horizon except in the west. I supposed one could climb up the dune to get rid of even the car lights. Even though the radiant is in the northeast, the meteors will appear all over the sky.

Binoculars are nice to take a break to explore the Milky Way and to observe the smoky train left by a particularly bright meteor. These can be viewed for a minute of more and deform and twist due to the different wind directions and speeds at different altitudes.

What causes the Perseid meteor shower and why does it occur at the same time every year?

The Perseid meteor shower, like all meteor showers are caused by the debris left along the orbits of comets. If the comet’s orbit crosses close to the Earth’s orbit we can get a meteor shower. Comets spend the majority of their time far from the Sun, where it’s very cold, and are in very elongated orbits.

Comets are made from rocky bits, dust and frozen gasses. As the comet comes into the inner solar system the Sun heats it up and the frozen gasses sublimate, are ionized by the Sun’s radiation and are caught into the thin ion tail. This liberates the comet’s fine dust which is blown away from the Sun by the pressure of sunlight into a broad dust tail. Larger particles end up traveling in the comet’s path, and are affected mainly by the Sun and the various gravitational tugs of the planets.

The comet responsible for the Perseids is 109P/Swift-Tuttle. It was independently discovered by L. Swift and P. Tuttle in 1862. It was recorded as being seen in 69 BC by, you guessed it, the Chinese. It’s a big comet, with a nucleus some 16 miles in diameter, and it crosses the Earth’s orbit, so it is a potentially hazardous object, and if it hit the Earth, would wreak more damage than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. From the 1862 appearance the comet was given a period of 120 years. It didn’t show in 1982. An observation of the previous appearance of the comet in 1737 allowed a recalculation of the orbit and a new return year of 1992. That was correct. The comet was recovered that year.

The comet will return in 2126. The calculations used to predict the 1992 return suggested that the comet could possible collide with the Earth. However observations of the 1992 appearance of the comet determined that the comet, though it would pass close to the Earth, is not a hazard. But it should be really bright. I can’t wait!

08/08/2017 – Ephemeris – The Harvest Moon effect starts showing up 2 months early

August 8, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 8th. The Sun rises at 6:37. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 8:58. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 9:34 this evening.

The Harvest moon is nearly 2 months away, but some of its effects are starting to be felt now. I call it the Harvest Moon Effect. The Harvest Moon is a bit late this year, October 5th. It’s defined as the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox. However from August to October the rising times of the full Moon and nights after for the next week don’t advance very fast. On average the Moon rises 50 minutes later each night. Between tonight and tomorrow night the interval will be 32 minutes. This is kind of a bummer this weekend when the Perseid meteor shower reaches peak. As with most meteor showers, the most meteors seen are after midnight. Saturday night’s Perseid peak has the Moon, six days after full rising at 11:36 p.m.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Moonrise time intervals for the rest of this week:

Date Moonrise Difference
08/08/17 9:34 p.m.
32 minutes
08/09/17 10:06 p.m.
30 minutes
08/10/17 10:36 p.m.
30 minutes
08/11/17 11:06 p.m.
30 minutes
08/12/17 11:36 p.m.
Harvest Moon Effect

Harvest Moon Effect for this week. Note how shallow the path of the Moon is in relation to the eastern horizon. I’ve made the earth transparent so we can see the Moon below the horizon. As the Earth rotates the Moon will rise in a direction parallel to the celestial equator. In contrast the Moon’s path around March is steeper than average, so the interval in consecutive lunar rise times is much longer than the 50 minute average. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

08/01/2017 – Ephemeris – A look at the busy month of August in astronomy

August 1, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 1st. The Sun rises at 6:29. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 9:07. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:21 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look ahead at the month of August in the skies. Daylight hours will decrease from 14 hours and 38 minutes today to 13 hours 16 minutes on the 31st. The altitude of the sun at local noon, that is degrees of angle above the horizon will decrease from 63 degrees today to just over 53 degrees on the 31st. The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on the evening of the 12th. However the bright waning gibbous moon will rise just after 11:30 for a very short dark sky viewing period. The big event this month will be the total solar eclipse that will be visible from all 50 of the United States and total for a narrow strip of land stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. That will occur on the afternoon of Monday the 21st.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addenda

August Evening Star Chart

August Star Chart

Star Chart for August 2017 (10 p.m. August 15, 2017). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 10 p.m. EDT in the evening and 5 a.m. for the morning chart. These are the chart times. Note that Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian. during EDT and 45 minutes behind our daylight standard time meridian. during EST). To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1 hour 45 minutes (Daylight Time) or 45 minutes (Standard Time) earlier than the current time if you are near your time meridian.

Note the chart times of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. are for the 15th. For each week before the 15th add ½ hour. For each week after the 15th subtract ½ hour. The planet positions are updated each Wednesday on this blog.

August Morning Star Chart

Morning Star Chart

Star Chart for August 2017 mornings based on 5 a.m. August 15th. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star
  • Leaky Big Dipper drips on Leo
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus,
  • Then follow the Spike to Spica
  • The Summer Triangle is in red
  • PerR is the Perseid Meteor Shower radiant

Evening nautical twilight ends at 10:26 p.m. EDT on the 1st, decreasing to 9:30 p.m. EDT on the 31st.
Evening astronomical twilight ends at 11:15 p.m. EDT on the 1st, decreasing to 10:09 p.m. EDT on the 31st.
Morning astronomical twilight starts at 4:30 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and increasing to 5:24 a.m. EDT on the 31st.
Morning nautical twilight starts at 5:19 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and increasing to 6:03 a.m. EDT on the 31st.

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

Date        Time    Event
Aug 01  Tu          Venus: 38.4° W
    02  We  1:55 pm Moon Apogee: 405000 km
    03  Th  3:31 am Moon-Saturn: 3.8° S
    04  Fr  2:17 pm Moon South Dec.: 19.4° S
    07  Mo  2:11 pm Full Moon
    07  Mo  2:22 pm Partial Lunar Eclipse (Not visible from here)
    08  Tu  6:56 am Moon Descending Node
    12  Sa  2:35 pm Perseid Shower: ZHR = 90
    14  Mo  9:15 pm Last Quarter
    16  We  2:39 am Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S
    18  Fr  2:50 am Moon North Dec.: 19.4° N
    18  Fr  9:14 am Moon Perigee: 366100 km
    19  Sa 12:45 am Moon-Venus: 2.3° N
    20  Su  3:15 am Moon-Beehive: 3.2° N
    21  Mo  6:34 am Moon Ascending Node
    21  Mo  2:26 pm Total Solar Eclipse
    21  Mo  2:30 pm New Moon
    25  Fr  9:00 am Moon-Jupiter: 3.7° S
    26  Sa  4:32 pm Mercury Inferior Conj.
    29  Tu  4:13 am First Quarter
    30  We  7:25 am Moon Apogee: 404300 km
    30  We 10:23 am Moon-Saturn: 3.9° S
    31  Th 10:03 pm Moon South Dec.: 19.4° S
Sep 01  Fr          Venus: 31.7° W

Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC),
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html

If you go to the above site you can print out a list like the above for the entire year
or calendar pages for your time zone.

August Rising and Setting Events

LU                  Ephemeris of Sky Events for Interlochen/TC
August, 2017    Local time zone: EDT
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| DATE |  SUN     SUN  DAYLIGHT|   TWILIGHT*    |MOON  RISE OR    ILLUM |
|      |  RISE    SET    HOURS |  END    START  |PHASE SET** TIME FRACTN|
+=======================================================================+
|Tue  1| 06:29a  09:08p  14:38 | 10:23p  05:13a |      Set  02:21a   72%|
|Wed  2| 06:30a  09:06p  14:36 | 10:21p  05:15a |      Set  03:00a   80%|
|Thu  3| 06:31a  09:05p  14:34 | 10:20p  05:16a |      Set  03:43a   87%|
|Fri  4| 06:32a  09:04p  14:31 | 10:18p  05:18a |      Set  04:32a   93%|
|Sat  5| 06:33a  09:02p  14:29 | 10:16p  05:19a |      Set  05:26a   97%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun  6| 06:34a  09:01p  14:26 | 10:15p  05:21a |      Set  06:24a   99%|
|Mon  7| 06:36a  09:00p  14:23 | 10:13p  05:22a |Full  Rise 09:01p  100%|
|Tue  8| 06:37a  08:58p  14:21 | 10:11p  05:24a |      Rise 09:35p   98%|
|Wed  9| 06:38a  08:57p  14:18 | 10:09p  05:25a |      Rise 10:06p   95%|
|Thu 10| 06:39a  08:55p  14:16 | 10:07p  05:27a |      Rise 10:36p   89%|
|Fri 11| 06:40a  08:54p  14:13 | 10:06p  05:28a |      Rise 11:06p   81%|
|Sat 12| 06:41a  08:52p  14:10 | 10:04p  05:30a |      Rise 11:36p   72%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 13| 06:43a  08:51p  14:08 | 10:02p  05:31a |      Rise 12:09a   62%|
|Mon 14| 06:44a  08:49p  14:05 | 10:00p  05:33a |L Qtr Rise 12:46a   51%|
|Tue 15| 06:45a  08:48p  14:02 | 09:58p  05:34a |      Rise 01:28a   39%|
|Wed 16| 06:46a  08:46p  13:59 | 09:56p  05:36a |      Rise 02:16a   28%|
|Thu 17| 06:47a  08:44p  13:57 | 09:54p  05:37a |      Rise 03:13a   18%|
|Fri 18| 06:49a  08:43p  13:54 | 09:52p  05:39a |      Rise 04:16a   10%|
|Sat 19| 06:50a  08:41p  13:51 | 09:50p  05:40a |      Rise 05:24a    4%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 20| 06:51a  08:39p  13:48 | 09:48p  05:42a |      Rise 06:35a    1%|
|Mon 21| 06:52a  08:38p  13:45 | 09:47p  05:43a |New   Set  08:44p    0%|
|Tue 22| 06:53a  08:36p  13:42 | 09:45p  05:44a |      Set  09:18p    2%|
|Wed 23| 06:54a  08:34p  13:39 | 09:43p  05:46a |      Set  09:49p    6%|
|Thu 24| 06:56a  08:33p  13:37 | 09:41p  05:47a |      Set  10:18p   12%|
|Fri 25| 06:57a  08:31p  13:34 | 09:39p  05:49a |      Set  10:46p   20%|
|Sat 26| 06:58a  08:29p  13:31 | 09:37p  05:50a |      Set  11:15p   28%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 27| 06:59a  08:27p  13:28 | 09:35p  05:52a |      Set  11:46p   37%|
|Mon 28| 07:00a  08:26p  13:25 | 09:33p  05:53a |      Set  12:19a   47%|
|Tue 29| 07:01a  08:24p  13:22 | 09:31p  05:54a |F Qtr Set  12:56a   56%|
|Wed 30| 07:03a  08:22p  13:19 | 09:29p  05:56a |      Set  01:38a   65%|
|Thu 31| 07:04a  08:20p  13:16 | 09:27p  05:57a |      Set  02:24a   74%|
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
* Nautical Twilight
** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunset and sunrise

08/11/2016 – Ephemeris – The Perseid meteors will peak tonight!

August 11, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 11th.  The Sun rises at 6:41.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 8:53.  The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:31 tomorrow morning.

This evening and tomorrow morning we should see the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.  There is the expected broad peak of the shower which for us is after sunrise.  However the meteoroid stream isn’t monolithic.  Each pass of the comet in the inner solar system superimposes its debris on the general stream, so we will have increased activity all night tonight and even into Saturday morning.  In general Perseid meteors will be seen to come from the northeast.  The evening view will be hampered by the Moon which will drown out the dimmer meteors.  The best time to view is after the Moon sets at 1:31 tomorrow morning until morning twilight becomes noticeable around 5 a.m. when over 100 meteors might be spotted an hour.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Perceid Radiant

The Perseid meteor shower radiant a about 2 a,m, during the period of the shower. Created using my LookingUp program.

Perseid Meteors

Here are some meteors seen in the 2007 Perseid meteor shower taken by Scott Anttila. The image is centered on Cassiopeia. The radiant is low and a bit left of center in the image. The Double Cluster is seen below center and the Great Andromeda Galaxy is seen on the right just above center.

My best Perseid photo. From the 70's.

My best Perseid photo. From the 70’s.

08/10/2016 – Ephemeris – The planets tonight

August 10, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 10th.  The Sun rises at 6:39.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 8:55.  The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:55 tomorrow morning.

Today we turn from the small meteoroids that orbit the Sun that are producing the Perseid Meteor Shower to the larger members of the solar family, namely the bright planets. Venus and Mercury are very low in the west-northwest and will set at 9:44 and 9:50 p.m. respectively.  Jupiter is in the west in the evening.  It will set at 10:19 p.m.  Mars, Saturn and the star Antares start the evening in the south-southwestern sky as a tightening triangle, moving to the southwest during the evening.  Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars is below Saturn with brighter Mars to the right.  The Red Planet is back in Scorpius.  It will set at 12:46 a.m.  Mars is moving rapidly to the east against the stars.  Saturn is spectacular in telescopes, with its rings.  Saturn will set at 1:34 a.m.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Sunset planets

Venus, Mercury and Jupiter at 9:25 p.m. (30 minutes after sunset), August 10, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Evening planets and the Moon

The planets, Moon and constellations at 10 p.m., August 10, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars tonight, August 10, 2016 at 10 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its moons at 10 p.m. August 10, 2016. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

The planets and the Moon all night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on August 10, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on August 11. Actually all the naked eye planets are in the evening sky. Also shown is the Perseid meteor shower radiant. If you are using Firefox right-click on the image and select View Image to enlarge the image. That goes for all the large images. Created using my LookingUp program.

Also shown is the Perseid meteor shower radiant.