Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

The Skyrim vanilla night is kinda "blah." The Moons are washed out messes, the stars are too big, too few in number, and not very nice to look at, and the galaxy is a lack-luster, blurry doodle. They're kow...THERE. Vistant's HD Night Sky fixes this problem!

Permissions and credits

I initially made this mod a number of years ago for Oblivion with the intent to get maximum effect out of minimum texture size. As lovers of Oblivion know, its not the most stable game due to the engine, so over-taxing it with big textures isn't a good idea. Therefore, by maximum effect I mean maximizing both detail and color using the default texture size while also adhering to lore.

According to the lore of Morrowind, Oblivion (Cyrodiil), and Skyrim, Masser (the large Moon) is red, similar to the color of our Mars. Below is what Masser looks like in Morrowind (image is linked from Elder Scrolls Wiki) and Oblivion:

I especially liked the look of Masser in Morrowind and Oblivion, and used its color scheme as my base for editing Masser in Gimp, with the following result:

The smaller Moon that orbits Masser, Secunda, is just as unique. It is not completely white, but is somewhere between eggshell white and gray with hints of other colors as well. Here it is in Morrowind (image is linked from Elder Scrolls Wiki):

Again, I liked the way it looked in Morrowind and Oblivion, so again I chose it as my color reference for Gimp, as can be seen below:

Also, here's an important detail (at least to me) about Masser and Secunda. In Oblivion, each phase had a unique texture that gave the moons the illusion of rotation as they passed through their phases. In Skyrim, you get the same thing, but the moon textures are so bland and so unlike the Oblivion textures, you don't notice it. I have included the rotation of the moons in my textures.

The results are a much better looking set of Moons for Skyrim that are very detailed, strictly lore-friendly according to Morrowind, Oblivion, and the Wikis, and have zero impact on performance. You don't need gigantic textures to render an object in High Definition, and my Moons prove that!

Finally, because of their fidelity and definition my Moons are also very friendly toward ENB and Skyrim Reloaded. Plus, unlike most other moon-mods, my Moons desaturate as they should when adjusting colors and curves (for example, in ENB).

Included in the archive are some other goodies, too. You have two different galaxy types to choose from, and an optional sunglare. These work best when they are tuned in ENB or Skyrim Reloaded.

The first galaxy replacer is a great enhancement to the default galaxy, both of which were patterned after our own Milky Way. It is high-resolution awesomeness, to be sure!

The second galaxy replacer is a massive, hi-res creation by Yuril, who allowed it to be re-distributed freely. I just want to make sure Yuril gets proper credit.

And finally, the replacer stars were created from real images by CptJoker - and the stars DO twinkle!

Vistant's HD Night Sky looks GREAT with vanilla Skyrim, and is compatible with ALL mods and ALL ENB presets.

NOTE FOR SR AUTHORS: If you are using Skyrim Reloaded, you may need to disable its Moons to get things to work as intended. And if you opt to use my SunGlare, you will need to disable Skyrim Reloaded's SunGlare.


I have re-worked both moons. They now have better color, especially Secunda. And, I've re-mapped Masser for better features. I've also done quite a bit of work in cleaning up Secunda, which seems to have started life as a fairly detailed image. But by the time Bethesda was done with it, it was turned into an exceptionally low-res image. Now, there's plenty of detail to it and I've also restored the hints of browns and golds that were lost in the original dds files.

AND! Now, you have a choice of how much shadow is seen on the moons. Originally, I used the alpha channels from Oblivion for my moons. These gave the impression of the moons being enveloped by darkness that faded toward the center. The Skyrim alphas are quite a bit different, having nowhere near that amount of shadowing in them. So now, you have the option to choose which type of shadowing you want!

Or, you can play mix-n-match with each set of textures to fully customize how your moons look! The textures are the same; its the shadowing in the alphas that are different. I've put some comparison shots up in the Images section to demonstrate what I mean.

Finally, I have been able to get rid of the annoying "thinness" of the moon, which allowed stars to shine through them. This was due to Gimp 2.8's manipulation of alpha channels, which problem has been overcome in Gimp 2.10+.

Bethesda, for Skyrim!

I would also like to thank Yuril and CptJoker for allowing me to include their works in this mod.

The star field is taken from CptJoker's Enhanced Night Skyrim
Unfortunately, it seems Yuril's Amazing Nebula mod is no longer available.

Everything else - the Moons (based on Bethesda textures), Milky Way galaxy (based on Nasa photos), and Sun Glare (created in Gimp) - is mine.

Hardware Used
A mouse
A Keyboard
My eyeballs
Two Coca-Colas
A Landjaegar Sausage Stick
Some pork rinds
A Magic 8-Ball (for color settings I just couldn't decide on)
A colander wrapped in foil with rabbit-ears TV antennas (it helps me think)

Software Used
Gimp 2.10.12
Inkscape 0.92.4
BAE (to extract the required files from the Bethesda archives)
DM and Wardruna (various titles)

My Other SSE Mods
Visitant's Whiterun Rooftops SSE - This re-colors the rooftops in Whiterun, and all of the roofs of the Whiterun windmills and buildings outside the main gate.
Visitant's Solitude Rooftops SE - This re-colors all of the Solitude rooftops, including the Market Stall roofs if you're using a mod like JK's Skyrim. Check it out!
Visitant's Skyrim Market Stalls - This re-textures and re-colors all of the Market Stalls in the various Hold cities. It complements the rooftop mods quite well!

This mod is a Nexus exclusive! If you find it somewhere else, its been pirated!