advance of perihelion
Fr.: avance du périhélie
The slow rotation of the major axis of a planet's orbit in the same direction as the revolution of the planet itself, due mainly to gravitational interactions with other planets. The perihelion of the planet Mercury advances about 9'.6 per century. The bulk of the advance was accounted by perturbations from other planets. However, a remaining small advance, by 43'' per century, was eventually explained as an effect predicted by Einstein's theory of → general relativity. In the case of close binary stars, the advance of pericenter may additionally be caused by mass transfer and the stars' distorted (elliptical) shapes. Advance of perihelion (or pericenter) is also known as → apsidal motion.
Advance, from O.Fr. avancer "move forward," from V.L. *abantiare, from L.L. abante "from before," from ab- "from" + ante "before," PIE *ant- "front, forehead;" → perihelion.
Pišraft "advance," from piš "forward; in front; before," Mid.Pers. peš + raft "going; walk, travel," from raftan "to go."