It is therefore a conic section having its eccentricity equal to unity.
In computing the column sections a proper allowance must be made for any eccentricity of loading.
Its mean distance from the sun is 1.46 times i that of the earth; but, besides, the eccentricity of its orbit is large (0.22), so that at the most favourable opportunity it can come within one-seventh of the distance of the sun.
At the other extreme we know that innumerable swarms of minute bodies, probably little more than particles, move round the sun in orbits of every degree of eccentricity, making themselves known to us only in the exceptional cases when they strike the earth's atmosphere.
The axes and eccentricity of the ellipse, and the position of the plane in which it lies.