Have some fun with your tax dollars. NASA released some panoramic images of the earth with very high resolutions. These images are freely available at their Blue Marble site. I saw that they provided both day and night maps, and wanted to try to composite the 2 so that you could get the illusion of a globe changing from day to night.

Here are the images I started with from their site:




Then I rendered 3 versions of the maps onto a sphere.

Then I took the 3 renders into Photoshop and composited them:

800 x 600 version

Here's one centered over the Atlantic:

800 x 600 version


Note for Commercial Use: Over the years, I've been contacted many times by people who would like to use these images in derivative commercial works (book covers, CD inserts, etc.). You are free to use the images provided on this page free of charge as long as you cite me as the source. If you would like higher resolution images for print or other purposes (up to 3000 x 2400), you can purchase royalty-free versions.