One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
That point in the path of a celestial object or spacecraft orbiting (or passing) Jupiter at which it is nearest to the planet.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Whewell (1794–1866), college head and writer on the history and philosophy of science. From peri- + Jove, after French périjove (Bailly Essai 80). Compare earlier perigee, perihelion.
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