Following a tutorial I created this realistic render of Earth. The textures were taken from the NASA website. The background is a Sky and uses the built in Starfield texture which was simply animated on a slow rotation.
Used textures include the Earth by day, the Earth by night, a height map used for a bump map, clouds and a specular map (solid black fill of the land).
The one improvement I would like to make is to find out how to create animated textures for the clouds.
Post production was done in After Effects to adjust the colours and levels of the composition.
Music: Deepspace - In The Outer Reaches