It’s ok if you work with After Effects and feel like all the particle options are kind of reaching their “end of life”. The majority of us do. Ae’s native particle plugins, although still useful really show their age. Even the majority of the premium 3rd party particle solutions for after effects feel like they need to be modernized or retired. That is with the exception of Stardust, from SuperLuminal.
Stardust is probably one of the premier particle systems available for AE (along with plexus). IT is a modular and node based system, while still being fairly easy to use.
Watch Roland Hartmann of graphicinmotion.com as he demonstrates how to create a stunning Earth HUD (head’s up display) element with Stardust in After Effects. The tutorial covers using Stardust’s Grid Emitters, Fields, Replica Turbulence and more. Stardust has a trail version that you can use and play with – you check that out here