Planet Earth on the Desktop

Ages ago I created a script to generate a visual representation of the earth from space.
Since then it stopped working, but I’m happy to announce that I’ve updated the code and it now works again.

Visual earth render

Code and full instructions are available at

It uses the City Lights and Blue Marble images from NASA, as well as topographical information also from NASA.
Semi-live cloud data is downloaded from various sources, and the whole thing is combined in xplanet to get correct sunlight and projection.

It requires Linux or Mac hacking skills.
I’m not aware of it working on Windows, but if you make it work let me know!

2 thoughts on “Planet Earth on the Desktop

  1. Dear Mr.Jorgensen,

    So this might be really random but I was wondering if it would be possible for you to repost your bit about running a proxy servlet for GWT. I bookmarked it try it at a later time but it seems like you’ve reset your website :(.

    Original blog URL: (
    Code based on:


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