This is the moon, as it appears on Earth.

And this is Jupiter, if it were swapped out for our moon.

Venus almost looks like the sun were it shining at night, doesn’t it?

Uranus is like a mega blue marble in the sky.

I find Saturn, in some ways, more imposing than Jupiter because that ice ring looks so lethal up close.

Neptune looks like the Death Star with blue powder coating.

To the naked eye, most of us might not even notice the difference between the moon and Mercury.

As for Mars? It’s hard to hide all that red.


Our Night Sky, Were The Moon Replaced By Planets

What would it look like if our moon were replaced by any of the planets in our solar system? Our night sky would become an incredibly imposing place.

During a full moon on a clear night, that little hunk of cheese in the sky seems almost touchable. You can just begin to make out its craters without a telescope. But in reality, the moon is tiny compared to the mighty planets that live so much farther away, often appearing as stars to the naked eye.

Ron Miller, a conceptual space artist and former art director at the National Air & Space Museum, had a brilliant idea. Since we all have the moon as a frame of reference, what if he were to swap in the various planets in the moon’s place? The incredible results are what you see here.


The source photo is Miller’s own, taken at Death Valley during the day, then Photoshopped to appear as night. From there, he scaled each planet as if it were being seen from 238,900 miles away. You’ll probably agree that even though Mercury is 1.45x larger than the moon, it’s almost indistinguishable in the night sky. But Saturn, at almost 35x the moon’s size, appears to be a gargantuan buzzsaw just moments from slicing our globe in half.

"The main liberty I took was to ignore the effect on Earth of having a very large planet nearby," Miller tells me. "In the case of Jupiter, for instance, this would be devastating."


Indeed. In such close proximity to the gas giant, Earth would likely find itself sucked right into Jupiter’s noxious hydrogen atmosphere. I imagine that we would be but a drop in the bucket, with nothing more than a purple ripple in our wake. And no qualified physicist can convince me of a fate any less poetic.

Ron Miller’s Official Site

[Hat tip: DailyMail]

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  • The DesignPin Blog

    It would be a nice view just outside the window, but those photos look like from sci-fi movies and I would have to get used to such a view. But as @NIK  said it would be great to have one as desktop wallpaper.

  • EnergonCube

    On another note, Ron Miller's website is a classic straight out of 1999. I think I got a bigger kick out that than I did from his artwork.

  • Andy like burritos

    Earth itself actually would be okay. A lot of people fail to understand just how far the moon actually is from Earth. If it were replaced by Jupiter the effect on Earth's gravity would only be ±9% meaning we would only feel at most about a 5% increase and decrease in gravity depending on which side of the Earth we were on (in relation to Jupiter).

    Even though we wouldn't have to worry about the gravity or our orbit descending into Jupiter's atmosphere (the earth is actually the densest planetary object in the solar system) the radiation from Jupiter would kill us fairly rapidly.

    The images also missed one of the most important aspects of placing these planets in the night sky: the reflection. Jupiter, saturn or any of the gas giants would light up the sky like it was day, casting shadows and giving a colored hue.

  • someonestilllovesyoupluto

    Clicked on this to see was if Pluto was included... and now I am sad :(