from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A bright spot sometimes appearing at either side of the sun, often on a luminous ring or halo, caused by the refraction and reflection of sunlight by ice crystals suspended in the earth's atmosphere.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An intensification of a circular space in a solar halo, generally in prismatic colors, sometimes dazzlingly bright.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A bright spot in the sky due to the refraction of the sun’s image by ice crystals.
  • noun a reflection or image

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a bright spot on the parhelic circle; caused by diffraction by ice crystals


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin parēlion, from Greek : para-, beside; see para– + hēlios, sun; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin parelion, from Ancient Greek παρήλιον, from παρά + ἥλιος ("sun").



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • See sun dog and weathergaw.

    September 23, 2007

  • This is not the same as perihelion, which in turn, is the opposite of apehelion, both of which can be generically called an apsis.

    None of which is related, but heck.

    September 24, 2007

  • Isn't it aphelion? :-)

    September 24, 2007

  • That it is. Yes.

    This e-only dyslexia (e-slexia ?), it keeps popping up when you least expect it, doesn't it.

    (I'll leave my misspelling in tact to let folks know what we're talking about.)

    September 24, 2007

  • Well, I'm thorougly confused. ;-)

    September 24, 2007

  • Reseetee, well, you shouldn't be. It's simple, really; while I had promised to not correct my misspelling for the word-that-is-the-opposite-of-perihelion, it appears that I had already corrected it auto-magically and had forgotten about it. Something Pavlovian, I would presume, in hitting the edit button.

    I have now gone back on my promise, re-re-editted the spelling to show the right misspelling, and have brought peace, prosperity and much tranquility to this thread. If you haven't been confused even more, that is.

    September 25, 2007

  • I wasn't really confused, just not paying close enough attention. ;-) But thanks for clearing things up all the same.

    September 25, 2007

  • "I've played the unraveler, the parhelion,

    But even Apocalypse is fleeting."

    -"The Past Is a Grotesque Animal," Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

    November 22, 2007

  • Another WeirdNet infinite loop, defining this is terms of a parhelic circle and parhelic in terms of a perhelion.

    July 24, 2008