Fr.: précession relativiste
A → general relativistic phenomenon in which the line joining the → apsides of an orbit gradually rotates in a → prograde direction. Also called the → orbital precession and → perihelion precession. Although the general relativistic precession of Mercury's orbit is extremely small, the similar precession observed in the orbit of the → binary pulsar PSR B1913+16 amounts to 4.23 degrees per year, i.e. 36,000 times greater than the → advance of perihelion of Mercury.