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Saturn close to Earth, but clouds stop LI viewing party

This weekend, Saturn will give skywatchers one of

This weekend, Saturn will give skywatchers one of the signature planet-viewing opportunities of 2014. The planet is seen here as photographed by the Amateur Observers' Society of New York member Dave Barnett. Credit: Dave Barnett

A cloudy forecast has led to the cancellation of a Saturn viewing program Friday night that had been scheduled by a local astronomy group.

The Amateur Observers' Society of New York had planned an event at the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center at Jones Beach to celebrate the ringed planet.

Saturn will line up in opposition this weekend, which means the sun, Earth and Saturn are directly aligned, with the Earth in the middle. Saturn will rise in the eastern sky as the sun sets, and will stay visible all night, setting to the west right as the sun rises.

The good news for backyard astronomers? Saturn will be in full view throughout May.

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