Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

perihelion

[per-uh-hee-lee-uh n, -heel-yuh n]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural per·i·he·li·a [per-uh-hee-lee-uh, -heel-yuh] /ˌpɛr əˈhi li ə, -ˈhil yə/. Astronomy.
  1. the point in the orbit of a planet or comet at which it is nearest to the sun.
Compare aphelion.

Origin of perihelion

1660–70; < Greek peri- peri- + hḗli(os) sun + -on neuter noun suffix, on the model of perigee; earlier in the New Latin form perihelium
Related formsper·i·he·li·al, per·i·he·li·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perihelia

Historical Examples

  • This tendency of the perihelia to crowd together in two opposite regions has been noticed by different writers.

    Comets and Meteors

    Daniel Kirkwood

  • The extremes of temperature at perihelia and aphelia to which comets are subjected did not bother him particularly.

    Astronomy

    David Todd

  • At the second, Encke's comet and all others with perihelia within Mercury's orbit would have shared a similar fate.

    The Asteroids

    Daniel Kirkwood

  • It is a remarkable fact, however, that the longitudes of their perihelia differ by almost exactly 180.

    The Asteroids

    Daniel Kirkwood

  • The maximum occurs between 30 and 60, where thirty-five perihelia are found in 30 of longitude.

    The Asteroids

    Daniel Kirkwood


British Dictionary definitions for perihelia

perihelion

noun plural -lia (-lɪə)
  1. the point in its orbit when a planet or comet is nearest the sunCompare aphelion

Word Origin

C17: from New Latin perihēlium, from peri- + Greek hēlios sun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for perihelia

perihelion

n.

"point at which a celestial body is nearest the Sun," 1680s, coined in Modern Latin (perihelium) by Kepler (1596) from Latinizations of Greek peri "near" (see peri-) + helios "sun" (see sol). Subsequently re-Greeked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

perihelia in Science

perihelion

[pĕr′ə-hēlē-ən]
  1. The point at which an orbiting object, such as a planet or a comet, is closest to the Sun. Compare aphelion perigee.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.