noun (plural perihelia /-ˈhēlyə/ /-ˈhēlēə/ or perihelions)Astronomy
- He calculated to within a month the return in 1759 of Halley's comet to its perihelion (closest point to the Sun).
- For objects orbiting Earth, periapsis and apoapsis are known as perigee and apogee; for objects orbiting the Sun, these locations are known as perihelion and aphelion.
- This affects the climate because the influx of solar energy to our planet would then vary between perihelion and aphelion by a larger proportion than at present.
Mid 17th century: alteration of modern Latin perihelium (by substitution of the Greek ending -on), from Greek peri- 'around' + hēlios 'sun'.
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