In celestial mechanics, apsidal precession (or apsidal advance)[1] is the precession (gradual rotation) of the line connecting the apsides (line of apsides) of an astronomical body's orbit. The apsides are the orbital points closest (periapsis) and farthest (apoapsis) from its primary body. The apsidal precession is the first time derivative of the argument of periapsis, one of the six main orbital elements of an orbit. Apsidal precession is considered positive when the orbit's axis rotates in the same direction as the orbital motion. An apsidal period is the time interval required for an orbit to precess through 360°.[2]

Rotation of a celestial body's orbital line of apsides

This article is about rotation of the orbit of a celestial body. For precession of the rotational axis or change in orbital inclination, see Axial precession.

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