SER: The Exoplanets Sketcher

The Scientific Exoplanets Renderer (SER) is a new scientific software tool to generate photorealistic visualizations of exoplanets. It uses physical properties from exoplanets and their parent stars to generate possible scenarios for their visual appearance as seen from space. Many parameters can be adjusted based on estimates of their atmospheric and surface physics and chemistry. It includes the reconstruction of realistic atmospheric clouds motion and weather effects.

SER is specially designed to reconstruct Earth-like exoplanets, either rocky or ocean in nature, but it is also able to generate visuals for gas giants and stars. SER can be used to interpret and visualize results from General Circulation Models (GCM), reconstruct light-curves, albedo studies, and stellar transit simulations, including moons. Current test models of SER operate in the visual range but future developments will include a wider spectrum.

SER is a scientific tool and it tries to reproduce the physical and chemical interactions of light with matter at planetary scales. This is a time consuming process for computers and not suitable for fast or interactive views of exoplanets. Below are listed some nice educational alternatives for quick visuals of exoplanets.

SER was motivated by some of the tools developed for our Visible Paleo-Earth (VPE) and the need for visuals for our Habitable Exoplanets Catalog (HEC).

Figure Above: Animation of Earth rendered with SER (takes some time to load).


  • Challenges: A gallery of challenging real planetary features that will be reproduced by SER.

  • Sample Images: A high resolution gallery of test images produced by the alpha version of SER.

Current Alternatives