Meaning of parhelion in English:


Pronunciation /pɑːˈhiːlɪən/

nounplural noun parhelia/pɑːˈhiːlɪə/

  • A bright spot in the sky appearing on either side of the sun, formed by refraction of sunlight through ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

    Also called mock sun, sun dog

    ‘Haloes may be accompanied by a whole array of circumzenithal arcs and parhelion (mock suns).’
    • ‘By the riverside he seized on a sign: three suns in the sky (a rare astrological phenomenon known as a parhelion) to inspire in his troops and himself a moment of intense self-belief.’


Late 16th century via Latin from Greek parhelion, from para- ‘beside’ + hēlios ‘sun’.