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Solar System in Google Earth

Solar System in Google EarthFollowing on from my Google Earth vs moons add-on,  here’s another size comparison which includes all the planets too.

I’ve used an image overlay to ‘convert’ Google Earth into the Sun, and arranged 45, scale, 3D models of Solar System bodies next to it. The file can be downloaded here:

Solar System in Google Earth (7MB)

Visually, it works better if Google Earth’s atmosphere is switched off (View -> Atmosphere).

The large differences in size make this much harder to navigate than the moons file, but you can fly straight to a particular body by clicking on the appropriate model name or placemark under Places.  Also, the glare(!) from the sun overlay can be annoying at times,  but this can be toggled off.  

As with the moon models the planet textures are based on real imagery,  and come from the public domain sources listed below.


  • Venus, Jupiter, Saturn – Björn Jónsson 
  • Neptune, Uranus – NASA/JPL/Hastings-Trew/Thomas
  • Mercury, Pluto – NASA/JPL/Seal/Rawlings
  • Mars, Earth – USGS

Related Posts:
The many moons of Google Earth
How to create textured globe 3d models

  1. Frank Taylor
    July 18th, 2007 at 14:28 | #1

    Another good one James!

  2. July 19th, 2007 at 07:46 | #2

    Your topic is so excellent. But in view of me that, Views of the Solar System presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and more. Discover the latest scientific information, or study the history of space exploration, rocketry, early astronauts, space missions, spacecraft through a vast archive of photographs, scientific facts, text, graphics and videos. Views of the Solar System offers enhanced exploration and educational enjoyment of the solar system and beyond.

  3. Julio Siqueira
    July 19th, 2007 at 15:36 | #3

    Absolutely Great!

  4. Gary Catherman
    August 2nd, 2007 at 05:14 | #4

    Hello, Put your Solar system loverlay on my google earth and now cannot get it off my screen. WOuld like to get my original screen with earth instead of the solar system back. How do I do this? Help!

  5. James
    August 2nd, 2007 at 09:38 | #5

    Gary – check out the ‘My Places’ folder under ‘Places’ in the left Sidebar. You should see the Solar System file in there. Either toggle it off, or right click and delete it.

  6. saad
    August 2nd, 2007 at 18:40 | #6

    you solar system in earth has corrupted my original google earth,so whenever i log into google earth all i see is the sun superimposed on the earthglobe so i cant make out anything on the earth.please help to get my original view of the earth back

  7. James
    August 2nd, 2007 at 20:43 | #7

    Saad – Have you checked the file isn’t in the ‘My Places’ folder, as I suggested to Gary ? Sometimes it can be difficult to find.

    Let me know if you still have problems with it.

  8. Sally
    February 14th, 2008 at 14:08 | #8

    Hi. When I view the solar system, the sun (while pale yellow) has place names of the earth on it, eg. Gulf of Carpentaria, South Australia. Is there any way I can turn these off?

    Also, the names of the planets seem to overlap the adjacent planets.


  9. lkayert
    March 15th, 2008 at 21:13 | #9

    awsome that is totally cool but you shoud make the picture bigger so you can feel like you are in outer space. when you took that picture were you in outer space?

  10. June 16th, 2008 at 10:52 | #10

    i have seen the plantes there nufink . . . they are just dust and wil blow away soon . . . im sorry to dissapoint you 🙁 love u all x x x

  11. Angry Black guy
    June 28th, 2008 at 04:58 | #11

    In all honesty. I do not have the skill to do what you’ve done. But it still sucks.

  12. Michael Whittle
    July 31st, 2008 at 13:17 | #12

    How do you calibrate, “speed, Distance and Time”. And which way is up and down, N E W S , North East West and South?,…………M

  13. saket jambhale
    December 24th, 2008 at 15:30 | #13

    its was great pleasure to solar system to see from house

  14. rahul
    April 21st, 2009 at 06:17 | #14

    In all honesty i would like to say that google earth is not giving proper pictures of earth as well as solar system & correct map of india

  15. April 22nd, 2009 at 16:11 | #15

    I know this is good but not to scale, you could fit 3 Earths on the spot on jupiter

  16. July 21st, 2009 at 19:47 | #16

    every body download google earth 5.0 because you can go to earth,mars,sky and the moon so go and download it

  1. July 19th, 2007 at 07:25 | #1
  2. July 19th, 2007 at 11:04 | #2
  3. July 21st, 2007 at 16:07 | #3
  4. August 3rd, 2007 at 20:01 | #4
  5. June 15th, 2009 at 19:17 | #5