I am actually very surprised that it has taken me this long to officially animate something in Blender. I have modeled lots of things and even rigged a few things for animation in Blender, but never actually animated anything. Well, there is a first time for everything, right? I have to give special thanks to Andrew Price for creating a tutorial on how to render a realistic earth in Blender using images provided for free by NASA. After creating the earth model, complete with a cloud layer and an atmosphere, I set about trying to figure out how to create my first animation in Blender. I decided that I wanted the camera to fly around from the back towards the front while the world was spinning. Some challenges that I faced while making this animation was figuring out how to get the camera to follow a path AND also track an object at the same time, how to move all the separate parts of the earth at one time, how to add sound/music to an animation and how to get it all rendered out in video form. There are problems such as the glowing atmosphere on the darkside of the earth. I am confident that I could have figured out how to eliminate it, but I thought it had nice aesthetics even if not entirely accurate. Anyway, enjoy.
Animation rendered using Blender Internal render engine.