- a white, horizontal band passing through the sun, either incomplete or extending around the horizon, produced by the reflection of the sun's rays from the vertical faces of ice prisms in the atmosphere.
Origin of parhelic circle
Also called parheliacal ring.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- meteorol a luminous band at the same altitude as the sun, parallel to the horizon, caused by reflection of the sun's rays by ice crystals in the atmosphere
- A luminous halo visible at the height of the Sun and parallel to the horizon, caused by the Sun's rays reflecting off atmospheric ice crystals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.