What would the sky look like if Jupiter was as close as the moon?

Done using Blender and the GIMP.

well.. the surf would be more impressive!

What would the sky look like if the Moon was replaced by Jupiter? Inspired by the work of Ron Miller, I thought I'd try this myself.

Used Blender to model a mini planetary system with the Earth and Jupiter scaled proportionately, and Jupiter placed at the same point the moon occupies. A 50mm camera is then placed on the Earth's surface pointing towards Jupiter, to simulate the likely size it would appear in the sky.

I think if we were actually that close, things would be a bit less 'life-friendly'. I suspect the surf would end up a bit like it was on the water-planet in the film Interstellar, not the calm ripples you see here.

Used the GIMP to do the image compositing (badly - bit out of practice!)

Photo credit "Playa Blanca, Guanacaste, Costa Rica" by Jaan [CC-BY]
UV Texture for Jupiter by James Hasting Trew

Here's my working, teacher!

  • Earth radius = 6,371 km = 1 blender unit
  • Jupiter radius = 71,492 km = 11.21 blender units
  • Lunar distance 363,104 km = 56.99 blender units
  • Create a unit-sized (radius 1 unit) UV Sphere, call it Earth
  • Duplicate earth, scale by 11.21, translate along x axis by 56.99, this is Jupiter
  • UV-unwrap jupiter mesh, apply UV Texture
  • Apply Subdivision surface to Jupiter to smooth it
  • Plonk 50mm camera on Earth's surface, pointing to jupiter
  • Render!