Earth and Moon Viewer
and Solar System Explorer

Welcome to Earth and Moon Viewer and Solar System Explorer.

Viewing the Earth

You can view either a map of the Earth showing the day and night regions at this moment, or view the Earth from the Sun, the Moon, the night side of the Earth, above any location on the planet specified by latitude, longitude and altitude, from a satellite in Earth orbit, or above various cities around the globe.

Images can be generated based on a full-colour image of the Earth by day and night, a topographical map of the Earth, up-to-date weather satellite imagery, or a composite image of cloud cover superimposed on a map of the Earth, a colour composite which shows clouds, land and sea temperatures, and ice, or the global distribution of water vapour. Expert mode allows you additional control over the generation of the image. You can compose a custom request with frequently-used parameters and save it as a bookmark item in your browser. Please consult the Details for additional information and answers to frequently-asked questions.

Viewing the Moon

In addition to the Earth, you can also view the Moon from the Earth, Sun, night side, above named formations on the lunar surface. or as a map showing day and night. You can also make expert and custom images of the Moon. A related document compares the appearance of the Moon at perigee and apogee, including an interactive Perigee and Apogee Calculator.

Viewing Solar System Bodies

You can view a variety of solar system objects whose surfaces have been imaged by spacecraft. For some objects, a variety of imagery is available and can be selected from the control panel. Day and night are not shown for solar system bodies because the ability to calculate the Sun's apparent position from them is not implemented.

You can view Mercury; Venus; Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos; the asteroids Ceres and Vesta; and Pluto and its moon Charon.

You can view named features on any of the bodies named above.


The Earth and Moon Viewer would have been enormously more difficult to implement without the help of the software and imagery mentioned in the credits.

Related Software on this Site

Windows users can create images like this in real time, on their own machines, as well as view the sky, stars at the horizon, the solar system, orbits of asteroids and comets, and more with Home Planet, my public domain Earth/Space/Sky simulator available for your downloading pleasure. Other public domain astronomy and space software available from the same site includes:

On the Web:
Eclipse 2010 — Aku Aku Eclipse, Eclipse 2008 — Nuclear Ninety North, Eclipse 2001 — In Darkness: Africa, and Eclipse 1999 — Expedition to Iran.
Moon at Perigee and Apogee.
Solar System Live: interactive orrery.
Switzerland from Space.
Terranova: a new terraformed planet every day.
Your Sky makes custom star maps for any location on Earth at any date and time.

For Windows:
Home Planet, Earth screen saver, Sky screen saver, Moontool, and Craters screen saver.

All of these packages and more can be located from my home page.

by John Walker