Purchasing your first telescope can seem a bit confusing at first however if you follow a few simple rules it will make your decision much easier.
1. Magnification: A common mistake is to buy a telescope with the highest magnification. Usually your best telescopic views in Colorado are with a low power wide field eyepiece. In other words, magnification is not important. Instead, look at the diameter of the lens or mirror collecting the light. A larger diameter means your telescope will be able to see fainter objects.
2. The Mount: I cannot over state the importance of a good solid telescope mount. A high quality telescope on a weak wobbly mount is essentially useless. Simple Dobsonian or altazimuth mounts are usually very solid and great for learning your way around the night sky. Equatorial mounts are more advance but there are more moving parts so make sure it is a high quality mount.
Some links to help you purchase your telescope.
Orion Telescopes is a great place to start. Huge selection with great prices.
Astronomics has a large selection of telescopes.
OPT Optical offers more advanced and expensive telescopes for the experienced astrophotographer.
Astromart is the place to go for used telescopes.
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