A Parhelion (plural Parhelia, from "beside the sun", also called a 'Mock Sun') is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun. Parhelia are formed by plate shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or - during very cold weather - by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low level.

'Mauve rings around the moon; blood-orange sun;
Twinned Iris; and that rare phenomenon
The iridule—when, beautiful and strange,
In a bright sky above a mountain range
One opal cloudlet in an oval form
Reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm'

From 'Pale Fire' by the fictional John Shade (From Vladimir Nabokov's novel of the same name)

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