This equation is very similar to the one used to define a circle, and much of the discussion is omitted here to avoid duplication.

See Parametric equation of a circle as an introduction to this topic. The only difference between the circle and the ellipse is that in a circle there is one radius, but an ellipse has two:. Note that the equations on this page are true only for ellipses that are aligned with the coordinate plane, that is, where the major and minor axes are parallel to the coordinate system.

In the applet above, drag one of the four orange dots around the ellipse to resize it, and note how the equations change to match. Just as with the circle equationswe add offsets to the x and y terms to translate or "move" the ellipse to the correct location. In the applet above, drag the orange dot at the center to move the ellipse, and note how the equations change to match.

Also, adjust the ellipse so that a and b are the same length, and convince yourself that in this case, these are the same equations as for a circle. In the applet above, drag the right orange dot left until the two radii are the same.

This is a circle, and the equations for it look just like the parametric equations for a circle. This demonstrates that a circle is just a special case of an ellipse. The parameter t can be visit web page little confusing with ellipses.

For any value of tthere will be a corresponding point on the ellipse. But t is not the angle subtended by that point at the center. To How To Write Equations For An Ellipse why this is so, consider an ellipse as a circle that has been stretched or squashed along each axis.

In the figure below we start with a circle, and for simplicity give it a radius of one a " unit circle ".

The angle t defines a point on the circle which has the coordinates The radius is one, so it is omitted. The blue ellipse is defined by the equations So to get the corresponding point on the ellipse, the x coordinate is multiplied by two, thus moving it to the right.

This causes the ellipse to be wider than the circle by a factor of two, whereas the height remains the same, as directed by the values 2 and 1 in the ellipse's equations.

So as you can see, the angle t is not the same as the angle that the point on the ellipse subtends at the center.

Using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the points on the ellipse, we get the more common form of the equation. For more see General equation of an ellipse. This form of defining an ellipse is very useful in computer algorithms that draw circles and ellipses.

In fact, all the circles and ellipses in the applets on this site are drawn using this equation form. For more on this see An Algorithm for Drawing Circles. In many textbooks, the two radii are specified as being the semi-major and semi-minor axes. Recall that these are the longest and shortest radii of the ellipse respectively. The trouble with this is that if the ellipse How To Write Equations For An Ellipse tall and narrow, they have to be reversed, so you wind up with two forms of the equations, one for tall thin ellipses and another for short wide ones.

Regardless of what you call these radii, click here that the x equation must use the radius along the x-axis, and the y equation must use the radius along the y-axis:. The only difference between the circle and the ellipse is that in a circle there is one radius, but an ellipse has two: One radius is measured along the x-axis and is usually called a.

The other is measured along the y-axis and is usually called b.

## Writing the Equation of an Ellipse

For a circle both these radii have the same value. Ellipses not centered at the origin Just as with the circle equationswe add offsets to the x and y terms to translate or "move" the ellipse to the correct location.

A circle is just a particular ellipse In the applet above, drag the right orange dot left until the two radii are the same. The parameter t The parameter t can be a little confusing with ellipses.

Equation of an ellipse in standard form, graph and formula of ellipse in math. Writing Equations of Ellipses Date_____ Period____ Use the information provided to write the standard form equation of each ellipse. 1) Vertices: (10, 0). You'll also need to work the other way, finding the equation for an ellipse from a list of its properties. Write an equation for the ellipse having one. An ellipse can be defined geometrically as a set of points (locus of points) in the Euclidean plane: An ellipse is a set of points, such that for any point of the set. Fun math practice! Improve your skills with free problems in 'Write equations of ellipses in standard form from graphs' and thousands of other practice lessons.

Other forms of the equation Using the Pythagorean Theorem to find the points on the ellipse, we get the more common form of the equation. For more see General equation of an ellipse Algorithm for drawing ellipses This form of defining an ellipse is very useful in computer algorithms that draw circles and ellipses. Things to try In the above applet click 'reset', and 'hide details'. Drag the five orange dots to create a new ellipse at a new center point. Write the equations of the ellipse in parametric form.

Click "show details" to check your answers.

Regardless of what you call these radii, remember that the x equation must use the radius along the x-axis, and the y equation must use the radius along the y-axis: