The moon's shadow dances on the surface of Earth in a stunning image taken from lunar orbit.
The Hakuto-R mission from Japan's ispace, which is targeting a landing on the moon today (April 25), captured the photo during a solar eclipse on April 20. ispace plans to place the Hakuto-R lander on the moon at 12:40 p.m. EDT (1640 GMT) and you can watch the whole thing live here.
The moon passed across the face of the sun from Earth's perspective, creating the shadow. "Seen here is the lunar Earthrise during solar eclipse, captured by the lander-mounted camera at an altitude of about 100 km (60 miles) from the lunar surface," ispace officials wrote in a tweet Monday (April 24).
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The primary landing site of Hakuto-R will be Atlas Crater, located at the southeastern outer edge of Mare Frigoris ("Sea of Cold"), according to earlier statements from ispace.
The Hakuto-R spacecraft launched in December 2022 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and has been orbiting the moon ahead of the landing. The landing sequence will include several steps, ispace officials wrote on April 12.
"The lander will perform a braking burn, firing its main propulsion system to decelerate from orbit. Utilizing a series of pre-set commands, the lander will adjust its attitude and reduce velocity in order to make a soft landing on the lunar surface. The process will take approximately one hour."
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.