ESSENTIALS FOR DARK SKY VIEWING
Four criteria are crucial to allow you to see the wonders of Milky Way in its full glory.
1. No artificial light
Visible terrestrial light will spoil the view of the Milky Way. These include urban skyglow from cities and industry and lights from local buildings. The Milky Way is so bright that there is no need for a flash-light.
2. No Clouds
Obviously the sky must be free of clouds and the atmosphere must be clear of haze.
3. No REFLECTED Sunlight
The sun should have set two or three hours before viewing the dark night sky at the latitude of le Moulin du Chemin. Further north, it is preferable to wait more than two or three hours after sunset before viewing the Milky Way at it's best, and toward the Equator, less. This is to avoid effect of sunlight from below the horizon which can reflect off the atmosphere above the horizon.
4. No Moonlight
The moon should not be above the horizon. Moonlight reflection from below the horizon should also be avoided in the case of a full-moon or near full-moon. Best to consult the internet - le Moulin du Chemin is 40km north of Niort, France.