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The original Sunlit Earth Dashboard Widget for Mac OS X returns! This simple and aesthetic widget will display the sunlit portion of the Earth, position of the Sun and lights at night.

Images of the Earth used by the widget are courtesy NASA and NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS).

Painting top layer and bathymetry created by Don Carona based on bump maps courtesy of J. Hastings.

What's New

Version 4.1: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.


OS X 10.6.8 or later

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Sunlit Earth User Discussion

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Rgkgraphix Member IconReview+0

The one that comes with OSX is too small, especially if you run a 27" monitor. I still wish this one had bigger size options as well.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.1
Ronadam Member IconReview+86

Version 4.1 was already available in October 2012.

To me, the most important change in version 4.1 is that this widget no longer needs the Java internet plugin.

I am a happy user of Sunlit Earth for years and I am glad I can continue to use it without the need to install the Java plugin. (I removed the plugin because I do not need it anymore.)

Reply1 reply
Version 4.1

And another change is that the graphics are optimized for Retina display. I haven't seen it myself, but I am told it is really beautiful on a Retina display.

marvinbass1 Member IconReview+0

Well for some reason it can't find the Java Plugin any more in OSX 10.8.2
I thought I downloaded the plugin and installed it, but now it's crashing the widget!!

Reply2 replies
Version 3.3.1

There is a new version 4.1 available at http://observatory.tamu.edu/widgets/sunlitclassic/

It works like a charm on OS X 10.8.2.

It seems MacUpdate isn't update!


Thank You So Much Rei_vilo !!! Cheers!!

Roro01 Member IconComment+0

Why does this version must be installed for a particular user only and not system wide for all users? This is very silly!!! All the users of my computer are interested in this beautiful widget so now I've got to install it in three places ... I hope the developer would fix this.

Reply1 reply
Version 3.0

It's probably storing data inside the widget itself, rather than in separate files. That's bad programming practice.

Etnier Member IconComment+16

Seems nice, but it's a shame the 'controls' are not made accessible through radio buttons or something of the sort. As it stands now, I would have to save a text file somewhere to hold the operating instructions.

A resizeable (as in make it bigger) display would be nice too... ;-)

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0
Bruce_Y Member IconReview+36

Pretty cool.
Both previous ver 1.0 and new ver 2.0 work fine on my G5 iMac.
Now v2.0 has customizable display.

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Version 2.0
user icon+715
Version 4.1
user icon+0
Version 3.3.1
> 5 6


Current Version (4.x)


Downloads 15,051
Version Downloads 1,463
License Free
Date 02 Feb 2013
Platform OS X / Intel 32
Price Free
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