I just know they have a name!

Hi everybody. I was wondering what those little dots are that you see after a bright light, particularly when someone takes your picture. I think I remember hearing a name for them somewhere, but I can’t think of what that could be.

Entry: phos·phene
Pronunciation: 'fäs-"fEn
Function: noun
Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary phos- + Greek phainein to show – more at FANCY
: a luminous impression due to excitation of the retina

No. Phosphenes are due to to mechanical, electrical or other nonoptical stimulation of the retina. They’re what you see when you close your eyes and press on the eyeballs, for example. What the OP is asking about are called afterimages.

After I finished the question I thought it was something like “orab,” or pronounced like that, anyway. Has anyone heard of anything like that? Maybe it’s something else entirely?

If you’re thinking of the term “orb”, it refers to a bright round spot in photographs. They are an artifact of bright light, either from the sun or a flash combining with various lens defects, internal lens reflections or dust and other particulate matter close to the lens.

In eye care they are called spots, floaters and flashes. A good discussion is here .

Maybe you heard someone call the afterimages orbicular, i.e. round.