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.

    Also called 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.’


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