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New Mexico

New Mexico (Spanish: Nuevo México pronounced: [ˈnweβo ˈmexiko] locally: [ˈnwẽβo ˈmeχiko]; Navajo: Yootó Hahoodzo [jò:txó hàhò:tsò]) is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. It was admitted to the Union as the 47th state on January 6, 1912. It is usually considered one of the Mountain States. New Mexico is fifth by area, the 36th-most populous, and the sixth-least densely populated of the 50 United States.
Inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before European exploration, New Mexico was colonized by the Spanish in 1598 Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, it was part of independent Mexico before becoming a U.S. territory and eventually a U.S. state as a result of the Mexican–American War. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of the original Spanish colonists who have lived in the area for more than 400 years beginning in 1598. It has the second-highest percentage of Native Americans as a proportion of the population after Alaska, and the fourth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, and Arizona. The major Native American nations in the state are Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache peoples. The demography and culture of the state are shaped by these strong Hispanic and Native American influences and expressed in the state flag. Its scarlet and gold colors are taken from the royal standards of Spain, along with the ancient sun symbol of the Zia, a Pueblo-related tribe.
New Mexico, or Nuevo México in Spanish, is often incorrectly believed to have taken its name from the nation of Mexico. However, Spanish explorers recorded this region as New Mexico in 1563, and again in 1581, when they incorrectly believed it contained wealthy Mexica Indian cultures similar to those of the Aztec Empire. The name simply stuck, even though the area had no connection to Mexico or the Mexica Indian tribes. Mexico, formerly a part of New Spain, adopted its name centuries later in 1821, after winning independence from Spanish rule. New Mexico was a part of the independent Mexican Empire and Federal Republic of Mexico for 27 years, 1821 through 1848. New Mexico and Mexico developed as neighboring Spanish-speaking communities under Spanish rule, with relatively independent histories.
The climate of New Mexico is generally semiarid to arid, though areas of continental and alpine climates exist, and its territory is mostly covered by mountains, high plains, and desert. The Great Plains (High Plains) are located in Eastern New Mexico, similar to the Colorado high plains in eastern Colorado. The two states share similar terrain, with both having plains, mountains, basins, mesas, and desert lands. New Mexico’s average precipitation rate is 13.9 inches (350 mm) a year. The average annual temperatures can range from 64 °F (18 °C) in the southeast to below 40 °F (4 °C) in the northern mountains. During the summer, daytime temperatures can often exceed 100 °F (38 °C) at elevations below 5,000 feet (1,500 m), the average high temperature in July ranges from 97 °F (36 °C) at the lower elevations down to 78 °F (26 °C) at the higher elevations. Many cities in New Mexico can have temperature lows in the teens. The highest temperature recorded in New Mexico was 122 °F (50 °C) at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Loving on June 27, 1994, and the lowest recorded temperature is −50 °F (−46 °C) at Gavilan on February 1, 1951.[17]
Astronomical observatories in New Mexico take advantage of unusually clear skies, including the Remote Astronomical Society Observatory of New Mexico, the Apache Point Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, the Very Large Array, the Dark Ridge Observatory, the Rainbow Park Observatory, the Calvin-Rehoboth Robotic Observatory, etc.

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