PROBLEM: How do astronomers make predictions about objects that they cannot sample?
EXERCISE 1. Put your finger on the fickle foam. Describe what happens.
Rub your hands together 50 times (make them warmer). What happens when you touch the fickle foam now?
Have your partner put one of his or her fingers on the fickle foam without you seeing which one they use. Try to figure out which finger was put on the pad. Record your prediction and reasoning in the box below.
After you predict which finger your partner used, have them tell you if you were right or wrong. Record the actual answer. Could you determine which finger without seeing the finger?
Are there limits to finding the shapes of objects using fickle foam? What are the limits?
EXERCISE 2: Spin the orbiter. Describe what happens to its shape as you spin it.
Spin the orbiter faster and pulsate it. What happens?
EXERCISE 3. Use the stretchy material. Spin it slowly. Describe what happens.
Spin the stretchy material faster. What happens to the shape of its orbit?
CONCLUSION: Can scientists use indirect observations to derive useful information? Will this data always be correct?