apsidal motion

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A progressive change in the orientation of the major axis (i.e. the line of apsides) of an orbit; also known as advance of perihelion. There are several possible causes, including perturbations by other bodies; mass transfer between stars in a binary system; the elliptical shape of stars in a close binary; and the curvature of space around a massive body.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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