Education Technology

Algebra 2: Elliptical Orbits
by Texas Instruments

Published on August 25, 2011

Objectives

  • Students will model a curve from a picture on the graph screen.
  • Students will apply the general equation of an ellipse whose center is not at the origin.
  • Students will solve an equation of an ellipse in x and y for the variable y.

Vocabulary

  • ellipse
  • vertices
  • general equation of an ellipse

About the Lesson

This lesson involves generating equations of best fit for an ellipse.
As a result students will:

  • Be able to calculate values for parameters for the general equation of an ellipse from the graph of an ellipse whose center is not the origin.
  • Create two functions to model the equation of an ellipse, one is the top half and the other is the bottom half of the ellipse.
  • Verify that the equations do in fact closely model the actual path of a planet in orbit.