• WordNet 3.6
    • n parhelion a bright spot on the parhelic circle; caused by diffraction by ice crystals "two or more parhelia are usually seen at once"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Parhelion A mock sun appearing in the form of a bright light, sometimes near the sun, and tinged with colors like the rainbow, and sometimes opposite to the sun. The latter is usually called an anthelion. Often several mock suns appear at the same time. Cf. Paraselene.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n parhelion An intensification of a circular space in a solar halo, generally in prismatic colors, sometimes dazzlingly bright. The phenomenon, on account of its rough resemblance to the sun itself, is popularly called a mock sun. Two or more parhelia are seen at the same time; and variously arranged white circles, arcs, and bands intersect the halo, or lie tangent to it at the same points. Halos are produced by the refraction of rays through suspended ice-crystals which tend to fall in one or more special positions, and parhelia are due to the excess of crystals so situated. When the sun is near the horizon and the ice-prisms in a vertical position largely preponderate, parhelia are formed on the halo both to the right and left of the sun, and at the same level. As the sun rises, the parhelia gradually separate outward from the halo. If there is an excess of hexagonal prisms with their axes horizontal, and if the axes of the prisms are perpendicular to the line joining the sun and the observer, parhelia will be produced which will be situated on the halo above and below the sun.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Parhelion par-hē′li-un a bright light caused by refraction of light through ice crystals floating in the air, sometimes seen near the sun, and sometimes opposite to the sun, when it is called anthelion
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. parelion, Gr. , ; para` beside + the sun
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. para, beside, hēlios, the sun.


In literature:

Now there is a brilliant parhelion.
"The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2" by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
Sometimes during the summer we see the parhelion, a similar phenomenon of the sun.
"The North Pole" by Robert E. Peary
For all the baleful-looking parhelion, god Apollo dispenses the day.
"The Confidence-Man" by Herman Melville
On the 16th March the same parhelion appeared, and was seen from three different places more than fifty leagues apart.
"Old Mackinaw" by W. P. Strickland
I do not always know him in these cases as my own parhelion.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 356, June, 1845" by Various
There was a parhelion when the victory was decided.
"Richard III: His Life & Character" by Clements R. Markham
At each point of contact occurs a parhelion which is a mock sun of brilliant colors and called a sun-dog.
"Reading the Weather" by Thomas Morris Longstreth

In poetry:

My world is pyramid. The padded mummer
Weeps on the desert ochre and the salt
Incising summer.
My Egypt's armour buckling in its sheet,
I scrape through resin to a starry bone
And a blood parhelion.
"My World Is Pyramid" by Dylan Thomas

In news:

A "sun dog" is a common name for an optical effect known as a "parhelion.".