A note about the appearance of the Earth
If you look up "Picture of Earth" in Google Images, most of that stuff is just CGI, or composites. Often you can see the same cloud texture being used - I've used it myself. I'm surprised how many people don't catch on to this. To see the real pictures, look for the photographs taken by Apollo astronauts with their handheld cameras. 1972's Blue Marble is shown everywhere, but I think it's overrated. The real Earth is pale blue, covered with clouds, with hardly any atmosphere outline and a sharp transition between day and night. The stars aren't visible because the camera is still being flooded by a ton of daylight from the Earth.