The Planets


The Planets Add-On for NASA WorldWind

“The four small inner planets closest to the Sun–Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars–are called the terrestrial planets because they have solid rocky surfaces. The four large outer planets beyond the orbit of Mars– Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune–are called gas giants because they are composed primarily of two gases, hydrogen and helium. Beyond the gas giants is one tiny little distant planet called Pluto (after Pluto the Roman god of the deep dark underworld because Pluto is way out there in the deep dark outerworld of our Solar System). Pluto has a solid rocky surface (like the terrestrials) but, being so far away from the Sun, has a much colder surface than the terrestrial planets.” NASA.

This Add-on Shows the planets in our Solar system, the Sun and the Earths Moon within World Wind.


This is just a simple add-on I made for fun, it is activated in the Layer Manager and lets you choose which planet to view, please note this is not a scientifically accurate add-on, it is not terrain mapped and planet sizes and shapes are not accurate. I hope it may be of some educational interest to young children and fun for adults.


Venus, Mars and Mercury from Planets add-on for NASA World Wind

Venus, Mars and Mercury
(screen shots taken from World wind and combined in PSP)


To install the Add-on click the following link Worldwind_1.3_The_Planets_1.1.exe and select save in your web browser. Once the download is complete double-click the icon (figure-2) on your desktop, or if you chose a different location to save the file navigate there, follow the on-screen prompts and when installation is complete run World Wind.

Planets add-on for NASA World Wind app icon

Next open the Layer Manager by clicking on the icon (figure-3) in World Wind’s toolbar.

Planets add-on for NASA World Wind layer manager


Once the Layer Manager is open you will see several entries, click in the square next to the one which says The Planets, this will tick the box and turn on the layer (figure-4).



select Planets add-on for NASA World Wind


To choose a planet to view, click the small triangle in Layer Manager next to The Planets, this will display a sub-menu showing the list of planets (figure-5). You can select each planet by clicking inside the circle next to the planet name, please be patient as each planet may take several seconds to load.

select planet for Planets add-on for NASA World Wind


External links

For more information please see –


All images used in this add-on were obtained from and are either public domain or copyright Calvin J. Hamilton