textures
Create and Link Apply Textures Save it and position it.
The objects palette at the bottom of the screen allows you to select from the different types of objects in your scene. Click and hold down on the little sphere icon to get a menu of the sphere's you have created. Select your master sphere.
Depending on your tastes, select a texture for the base planet. You will probably want this to be a solid, non-ambient texture. The presets menu has some nice choices.
Select your cloud spheres in the same manner. Give them cloud textures. Again, the presets menu has some nice selection to help you. Go the the Complex Effects palette and select the texture called Weather Map (the little red box on the right). Set each of your textures to Object Space because we will be making the spheres much larger later on.
With the Texture Editor, adjust the transperancy of the cloud layers. Make the inner layers less transperant and the outer layers more. You might also want to tone down the specularity on the cloud layers. By default they are set to 69, but I think they look better at around 35.
You might also want to adjust the scaling of the different layers so they don't all look the same. Click the little button at the far top left of the texture A swatches. This will bring up the transformation tools with which you can set the scaling for your cloud (and earth map) textures. The top tool on the palette controls the scaling. Drag it's center to scale from all axes.

A smaller scale will create "bigger" cloud patterns, while a bigger scale will create "smaller" and more intricate patterns.

Here's what it looks like rendered. I set the sky to "Simple Black Background" (on of the preset skies) and deleted the ground plane.
Create and Link Apply Textures Save it and position it.

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