(lowercase)Meteorology. a radiant emission from the upper atmosphere that occurs sporadically over the middle and high latitudes of both hemispheres in the form of luminous bands, streamers, or the like, caused by the bombardment of the atmosphere with charged solar particles that are being guided along the earth's magnetic lines of force.
a city in central Colorado, near Denver.
a city in NE Illinois.
a female given name.
Origin of Aurora
1350–1400;Middle English < Latinaurōra dawn, dawn goddess, east
an atmospheric phenomenon consisting of bands, curtains, or streamers of light, usually green, red, or yellow, that move across the sky in polar regions. It is caused by collisions between air molecules and charged particles from the sun that are trapped in the earth's magnetic field
Derived Formsauroral, adjectiveaurorally, adverb
Word Origin for aurora
C14: from Latin: dawn; see east
the Roman goddess of the dawnGreek counterpart: Eos
late 14c., from Latin Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, from PIE *ausus- "dawn," also the name of the Indo-European goddess of the dawn, from root *aus- "to shine," especially of the dawn (cf. Greek eos "dawn," auein "to dry, kindle;" Sanskrit usah, Lithuanian ausra "dawn;" Latin auster "south wind," usum "to burn;" Old English east "east").
A brilliant display of bands or folds of variously colored light in the sky at night, especially in polar regions. Charged particles from the solar wind are channeled through the Earth's magnetic field into the polar regions. There the particles collide with atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, ionizing them and making them glow. Auroras are of greatest intensity and extent during periods of increased sunspot activity, when they often interfere with telecommunications on Earth.♦ An aurora that occurs in southern latitudes is called an aurora australis (ô-strā′lĭs) or southern lights. When it occurs in northern latitudes it is called an aurora borealis (bôr′ē-ăl′ĭs) or northern lights. See also magnetic storm.