This lesson and assessment introduce students to ellipses, their properties, and the connections to planetary motion.

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This lesson introduces students to some of the properties of ellipses through investigations. Students will also review Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion and learn about Earth's eccentricity.
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Ellipses Assessment

by Meredith Beaton

This assessment asks students to apply their knowledge of ellipses to short-answer questions about ellipses and eccentricity.
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Ellipse (unlabeled)

by Meredith Beaton

Image of a basic ellipse without the major parts labeled.
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Ellipse (labeled)

by Meredith Beaton

Image of a basic ellipse with all major parts labeled
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The original illustration from Kepler's book "New Astronomy," in which he documents the elliptical orbit of the Earth (the dotted line) by using parallax shift of the background stars compared to Mars to determine the location of the Earth relative to the Sun in orbit.
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