I wanted my planet to be different from the tutorial that I followed, because blue, Earth-like planets are quite boring. I ended up finding a high-res image texture for a dwarf planet called Makemake, and that served as the basis of my composition. I converted that image to grayscale using an online converter, and used that grayscale image to map the "Specular", "Roughness", and "Normal"  values of the material to the planet's surface as well. Initially, my "Bump" strength was too high, which caused  the surface of the planet to be semi-pixelated, as can be seen near the equator in the image on the left.
The clouds were created using a high-res texture map of the clouds on Earth, and I struggled with making them stand out while still looking realistic. Originally, I had used the "Alpha Clip" shading mode to have the individual clouds cast shadows over the planet, but I ended up dumbing down that effect. At the end though, I turned up the "Clip Threshold" to make the clouds pop out from the planet's surface even more. The final layer I created for my planet was the atmosphere, which is faint, but creates a soft haze around the edge of the planet, giving the illusion of atmosphere. 
The scene felt pretty sparse with only one planet. I had originally planned on making rings for the planet, akin to Saturn, but the tutorials that I found did not capture the effect that I was trying to achieve. Some of the rings were too realistic, being comprised of asteroid models, and others were too basic, simply taking an image texture and applying it to a ring. Instead, to maintain a consistent realism across the whole scene, I chose to go with creating a moon, which helped to balance out the composition along with adding shades of blue to the predominantly tan scene. 
The combination of the planet and the moon looked good enough on their own, but what really made the scene stand out was the background. I chose a background that transitioned gently from red to blue, and using that, I set up "Spotlights" around the scene. These give the planet and the moon subtle blue tints on the bottom edges, and red tints towards the top, which fit perfectly with the background. The composition works well as a whole now, and the subtle lighting goes lengths to ensure that both the planet and the moon look like they are truly appropriate for this scene. 
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