|—n , pl -lia|
|Compare anthelion mock sun, Also called: sundog one of several bright spots on the parhelic circle or solar halo, caused by the diffraction of light by ice crystals in the atmosphere, esp around sunset|
|[C17: via Latin from Greek parēlion, from |
|parhelion (pär-hē'lē-ən) Pronunciation Key
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.
Learn more about parhelion with a free trial on Britannica.com.