An atmospheric optical phenomenon, seen as a bright spot sometimes appearing at either side of the → Sun, often on a luminous ring or → halo and at the same angular elevation as the Sun. Parhelia are caused by the → refraction and → reflection of → sunlight by → ice crystals suspended in the Earth's → atmosphere. Also called mock Sun or sundog.
From Gk. parhelion "a mock Sun," from → para- "beside" + helios "sun," → helio-.