In yet another powerful showcase of Twitter’s potential power as a disseminator of information, today several people received the first information via the micro messaging service that NASA confirmed its Phoenix Mars Lander has in fact found water on Mars. It’s still not on CNN.com, not on MSNBC.com, not Fox.com. But a Twitter Search query reveals it’s all over Twitter.
As a result of the news spreading quickly through Twitter, it’s also now all over FriendFeed where some discussions are taking place on the subject. This is the kind of stuff these services are built for.
The water was found in ice-rich soil. Tests confirmed the ice was water-based.
Update: To be fair, there was rumor floating around about this yesterday, as Popular Mechanics apparently got a confirmation that this would be announced. But no other major news source appeared to pick up on the story after it was confirmed today faster than it got to Twitter.
Update 2: Reuters India is now on the story. From its brief piece:
“We have water,” scientist William Boynton of the University of Arizona said in a NASA statement.
“We’ve seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted.”
Update 3: MarsPhoenix, the Twitter account actually run out of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Calif. (sadly, not from Mars), alerted me that it was the first to tweet the news.
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