Definition of parhelion in English:


Pronunciation /pärˈhēlēən/ /pɑrˈhiliən/


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

    ‘Haloes may be accompanied by a whole array of circumzenithal arcs and parhelion (mock suns).’
    Also called sun dog
    • ‘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.’


Mid 17th century from Latin parelion, from Greek para- ‘beside’ + hēlios ‘sun’.