Parallel Tangents to an Ellipse

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This Demonstration shows a construction of parallel tangents to an ellipse in a given direction .

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Let and be the foci of the ellipse. Let be the circle with center and radius . Let be the point of intersection with of a line through perpendicular to the direction . Let be the midpoint of and let be symmetric to through the center of the ellipse (the midpoint of ).

Then the perpendiculars to through and are the required tangents.

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Contributed by: Izidor Hafner (March 2018)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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The proof is left as an exercise.



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