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pericenter(pe -ră-sen-ter) The point in an orbit, e.g. of a planet or of a component of a binary star, that is nearest to the center of mass of the system. The farthest point is the apocenter.
the point in the orbit of a celestial body closest to the central body around which the first body revolves. The term “pericenter” is used in problems in celestial mechanics where the central body is not specified, as well as in the case of orbits circumscribed by the sun and other stars around the center of the Galaxy. In other cases, the terms “periastron,” “perigee,” and “perihelion” are used.