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Exterior Angles in Convex Polygons

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What if you were given a seven-sided regular polygon? How could you determine the measure of each of its exterior angles? After completing this Concept, you'll be able to use the Exterior Angle Sum Theorem to solve problems like this one.

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CK-12 Exterior Angles in Convex Polygons

Watch the second half of this video.

James Sousa: Angles of Convex Polygons

Guidance

An exterior angle is an angle that is formed by extending a side of the polygon.

As you can see, there are two sets of exterior angles for any vertex on a polygon, one going around clockwise ( 1^{st} hexagon), and the other going around counter-clockwise ( 2^{nd} hexagon). The angles with the same colors are vertical and congruent.

The Exterior Angle Sum Theorem states that the sum of the exterior angles of ANY convex polygon is 360^\circ . If the polygon is regular with n sides, this means that each exterior angle is \frac{360}{n}^\circ .

Example A

What is y ?

y is an exterior angle and all the given angles add up to 360^\circ . Set up an equation.

70^\circ + 60^\circ + 65^\circ + 40^\circ + y & = 360^\circ\\y & = 125^\circ

Example B

What is the measure of each exterior angle of a regular heptagon?

Because the polygon is regular, the interior angles are equal. It also means the exterior angles are equal. \frac{360^\circ}{7} \approx 51.43^\circ

Example C

What is the sum of the exterior angles in a regular 15-gon?

The sum of the exterior angles in any convex polygon, including a regular 15-gon, is 360^\circ .

CK-12 Exterior Angles in Convex Polygons

Guided Practice

Find the measure of each exterior angle for each regular polygon below:

1. 12-gon

2. 100-gon

3. 36-gon

Answers:

For each, divide 360^\circ by the given number of sides.

1. 30^\circ

2. 3.6^\circ

3. 10^\circ

Practice

  1. What is the measure of each exterior angle of a regular decagon?
  2. What is the measure of each exterior angle of a regular 30-gon?
  3. What is the sum of the exterior angles of a regular 27-gon?

Find the measure of the missing variables:

  1. The exterior angles of a quadrilateral are x^\circ, 2x^\circ, 3x^\circ, and 4x^\circ. What is x ?

Find the measure of each exterior angle for each regular polygon below:

  1. octagon
  2. nonagon
  3. triangle
  4. pentagon

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