Kolkata, Jan 9: This year started off with a meteor shower and the first month of 2020 continues with a penumbral lunar eclipse during the full moon, on Friday.

The eclipse began at 10.37 pm on January 10. It will end around 2.42 am on January 11, the Director of M P Birla Planetarium, Debiprosad Duari, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The lunar eclipse on Friday will be the first of four penumbral lunar eclipses that will take place this year, Duari said, adding, the other three penumbral lunar eclipses will occur on June 5, July 5 and November 30.

The penumbral lunar eclipse will also be visible from different countries in Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe, he said.

In a normal lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the central part of the earth's shadow called umbra, and one witnesses considerable darkening of the lunar disc.

But in case of January 10 penumbral lunar eclipse there will be only a slight dimming of the lunar surface, the statement quoted Duari as saying.

"To a naked eye it is sometimes a little difficult to recognise a penumbral lunar eclipse, though it is interesting to see the larger than usual appearance of the moon, and the shifts in shadow during the 4-hour period," the renowned astrophysicist said.

Asked if the event would be clearly visible from Kolkata, Duari said, Skygazers across the state, including Kolkata, will be able to witness the celestial event only if the weather does not play a spoilsport.

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Saturday observed that no student above the age of 18 years, teachers, and staff can be allowed to attend schools and colleges unless they have received at least one jab of the COVID vaccine.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum was hearing a PIL filed by Mangaluru doctor Srinivas B Kakkilaya and others. The bench dismissed the PIL and said at least one dose of the COVID vaccine should be mandatorily taken by those attending schools and colleges.

The PIL had claimed that the circular issued by the state government on July 16, 2021, making vaccination mandatory in nature was in violation of fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 14 and 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India.

It had also added that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has maintained that the vaccination does not prevent the spread of the virus hence has little potential of stopping the pandemic.

According to the petitioners, such discrimination based on unreasonable classification, such as status of vaccination of an individual, is curbing the rights to practice any profession. The petitioners further claimed that the circular violates the dictum of the Supreme Court in the Common Cause Vs Union of India (2018) case which recognized the right, choice, and liberty of an individual to prefer the medicine of his/ her choice.

“We are of the considered view that no student, teacher or staff who have not received vaccines shall be permitted to attend the school or college, where the students gather in large numbers and risk them. As such no directions can be issued to permit such teachers, students, or staff who have not received at least one dose of vaccine to attend colleges in terms GO dated July 16, 2021,” the court said.