If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Ellipse features review

Review all the features of an ellipse: center, vertices, co-vertices, major radius, minor radius, and foci.

What are the features of an ellipse?

An ellipse has two radii of unequal size: the major radius is longer than the minor radius. In our example, the major radius is the horizontal one, but that could be otherwise.
The major axis connects the ellipse's vertices, and the minor axis connects the ellipse's co-vertices. The axes are twice the size of their corresponding radii.
The center of the ellipse lies at the midpoint of its vertices, which is also the midpoint of its co-vertices.
The foci of the ellipse lie on the major radius. Their special property is that the sum of the distances from the foci to each point on the ellipse is always the same.
Want to learn more about ellipses? Check out this video.

Check your understanding

Problem 1
What is the center of the ellipse?
Choose 1 answer:

Want to try more problems like this? Check out this exercise.

Want to join the conversation?