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Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912, coinciding with Valentine's Day. Historically part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848. The southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase.

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Figure 1. A geologic cross section of the Grand Canyon.
The geology of the Grand Canyon area exposes one of the most complete sequences of rock anywhere, representing a period of nearly 2 billion years of the Earth's history in that part of North America. The major sedimentary rock layers exposed in the Grand Canyon and in the Grand Canyon National Park area range in age from 200 million to nearly 2 billion years old. Most were deposited in warm, shallow seas and near ancient, long-gone sea shores. Both marine and terrestrial sediments are represented, including fossilized sand dunes from an extinct desert.Uplift of the region started about 75 million years ago in the Laramide orogeny, a mountain-building event that is largely responsible for creating the Rocky Mountains to the east. Accelerated uplift started 17 million years ago when the Colorado Plateaus (on which the area is located) were being formed. In total these layers were uplifted an estimated 10,000 feet (3000 m) which enabled the ancestral Colorado River to cut its channel into the four plateaus that constitute this area.

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Antelope Canyon
Credit: Luca Galuzzi

An HDR image of Upper Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the Southwestern United States. It was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. Photography within the canyons is difficult due to the wide exposure range (often 10 EV or more) made by light reflecting off the canyon walls.

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Steve Nash
Stephen John Nash, OC, OBC (born 7 February 1974), is a Canadian professional basketball player who plays point guard for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nash, who was born in South Africa but grew up in Canada, enjoyed a successful high-school basketball career, and he was eventually given a scholarship by Santa Clara University. In his four seasons with the Broncos, the team made three NCAA Tournament appearances, and Nash was twice named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year.After graduating from Santa Clara as the team's all-time leader in assists, he entered the 1996 NBA Draft and was selected as the 15th pick by the Phoenix Suns. He made a minimal impact, and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1998. By his third season with the Mavericks, he was voted into his first NBA All-Star Game and had earned his first All-NBA selection. Together with Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley, Nash led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals the following season.

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