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The moon is at new phase on Sept. 18 and during this upcoming week will appear as a gradually diminishing crescent of light in the after midnight-hours, and won't be much of a hindrance to stargazing. This combined with the fact that at this particular time of the year the hazy skies of summer are giving way to clearer skies and cooler overnight temperatures means that this is an optimum week to check out the beautiful summer Milky Way. As soon as darkness falls, it becomes evident as a wide glowing arch of variety and beauty, stretching across the sky from the northeast to southwest.