Rare hybrid solar eclipse and Earthrise captured from the moon by private Japanese lunar lander (photo)

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).

Related: Private Japanese lander sets distance record on its way to the moon

Lunar Earthrise is captured by the ispace Hakuto-R mission during the solar eclipse of April 20. (Image credit: ispace)

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.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace