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So I'm working on a fictional planet which would experience a daytime sky similar to this.

enter image description here

This particular picture is from the movie Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets. Fictional alien atmospheres that are similar to this have appeared in various sci-fi media but I'm wondering if such a sky is actually possible?

The fictional planet that I am working on should have a similar type of atmosphere. This planet is geographically similar to earth with the exception of its own unique flora and four (4) moons. It is also a human colony world of the far future.

It seems to me that such a planet would need to have a thin atmosphere, effectively making it unsuitable to human life. Is there a workaround for this or should I simply resort to pure fantasy and ignore the science?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not seeing anything cosmological except the moon. What am I supposed to be seeing? Our moon is visible in the daytime as well. $\endgroup$ – David Feb 18 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ @David the upper right corner is a nebula and some visible stars, not a cloud. $\endgroup$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Feb 18 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ Do your characters necessarily have to see in visible light? $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 19 at 1:51
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This could be explained by these cosmic object being sufficiently close to the planet so enough light reaches them to render them visible during daylight hours. Not unlike how the moon is also visible during day time hours.

Multiple moons could explain the multiple visible planet like objects in the sky. It would however be unlikely two actual planets orbit close enough to be more than a pinprick in the sky.

(Sidenote) If that's the daytime sky, the night time sky must be an absolute light show. If these objects are as bright, your planet's nights would be akin to twilight. They're huge and even a full moon here on earth is enough to lighten up a dark night a little bit.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm planning for this fictional planet to have awe-striking night skies. So thanks for confirming that as being a likely parallel. $\endgroup$ – JordanTheCynic Feb 19 at 2:52
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The reason we don't see many "cosmological features" here on Earth is in large part because there aren't any near Earth.

The solar system is essentially in the backwaters of the Milky Way; considering it "rural" wouldn't be wrong. Still, despite that, there are places in our solar system where more "cosmological features" are visible with the naked eye (to humans) for example, on any of the Jovian moons, the sky might be much more interesting:

Surface view from Europa

If Earth had rings, they'd be visible during the day, and if Earth were closer to the galactic core, the milky way would also be visible during the day:

Milky way during day

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you add source links for those images? The upper is clearly art but I am curious about the lower one. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 19 at 15:15
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Maybe consider the star supporting life on the planet as a relatively dim red dwarf or something. This would prevent the star's light from overwhelming the other light from the cosmos.

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