I'm off to college next fall (possibly delaying another year depending on costs) to study Astronomy and would like to buy a telescope to start familiarizing myself with the night sky (and just generally stargazing, which I enjoy). I've looked through some of the similar topics on these forums but couldn't really find what I was looking for. Ideally, I would like to spend around $500. I could possibly convince myself to go higher than that if it would be worth it, but that's my target number for now. Being a complete beginner, I'm not sure what makes a good scope, so when I look at the size of the aperture and the focal length, I'm really not sure what would be good. Does climate make a difference when it comes to telescopes? I live in Fargo, ND, so this time of year it's very, very cold (though I'm going to be moving to Colorado come spring). Can anyone recommend some good telescopes for me?