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A white spot appearing at times in the parhelic circle. White parhelia are believed to form from light that is reflected off of atmospheric ice crystals; colored parhelia are believed to form from light that is refracted by atmospheric ice crystals. Multiple parhelia can often be seen simultaneously. Compare anthelion.
atmospheric optical phenomenon appearing in the sky as luminous spots 22 on each side of the Sun and at the same elevation as the Sun. Usually, the edges closest to the Sun will appear reddish. Other colours are occasionally visible, but more often the outer portions of each spot appear whitish.