A Word A Day : Parhelion

Tuesday, 23rd October 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : paar-helee-en

1. a bright colored spot near the Sun, often seen in pairs and caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere diffracting light

2. A white spot appearing at times in the parhelic circle. White parhelia are believed to form from light that is reflected off of atmospheric ice crystals; colored parhelia are believed to form from light that is refracted by atmospheric ice crystals. Multiple parhelia can often be seen simultaneously.


Mid-17th century - Via Latin - Greek parēlion - para beside - hēlios - sun


maculation, patch, speckle, dapple, fleck, spot

Related Words :

1. parhelic: Adjective

2. parhelia: Plural

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