Electrified sands on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, may stick together due to static cling, potentially meaning that sand castles there would last for weeks, a new study finds.
Titan is bigger than the planet Mercury, making it the largest of the more than 60 known moons orbiting Saturn. In certain ways, Titan is reminiscent of Earth; for example, rivers, lakes and oceans cover Titan’s surface, though they are made of methane and ethane instead of water.
“At first glance, if you look at images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, Titan looks very Earth-like, with dunes, lakes, oceans, mountains and potentially volcanoes, and it has a dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere like Earth’s,” said study lead author Joshua Méndez, a granular dynamicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. “But once you start looking at the details, you realize that it is an alien and exciting world.”