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State of Play: Ice on Mars!

NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander confirmed that there was water ice under the soil on Mars Thursday, renewing hope that scientists might detect life on the planet. Pictures sent back by the lander earlier this week showed white patches uncovered by the robot. Scientists confirmed Thursday that the white patches were actually ice after sublimation, or changing to water vapor.

To let the world know about its big news, NASA has been having fun with social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook. Thursday evening, the Mars Phoenix Lander tweeted "Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, WATER ICE on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!"

Media around the U.S. were more sedate, reporting the news but not speculating on what this might mean for life on the fourth planet from the sun.

White Patches Found in Mars Trench Are Ice, Scientists Say (The New York Times)

Scientists believe Mars lander exposed ice crumbs (The Washington Post)

On Mars: ‘It must be ice’ (The Los Angeles Times)

Mars Lander Finds Evidence of Ice (The Wall St. Journal)

Mars Phoenix Tweets: "We Have ICE!" (Wired)

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