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Homework Help: Irregular Cone Geometry

  1. Mar 6, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I'm wondering whether or not it is possible to get the area of the base of an elliptical, non-right cone if the following two parameters are known:

    - length from center of ellipse up to vertex
    - angle that the sides make

    Here is a simple visual: http://i.imgur.com/M6jT5.png

    2. Relevant equations

    [tex]A=\pi ab[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I've tried looking at geometry guides with no success. I'm thinking I might be able to use some clever trig and drop a right angle down from the vertex in order to get the length of the semi-minor/major axis, but I can't reason it out. any advice would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2010 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi Appity! :smile:

    Hint: slice the cone so that you get a circular cross-section, then use trig to find the area of the projection. :wink:
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