The Meaning of Aurora: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been confused about the definition of aurora? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word aurora, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word aurora mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Northern Lights Center and LOC, an Aurora is a luminous phenomenon. This consists of streamers or arches of light appearing in the upper atmosphere of a planet’s magnetic polar regions. An aurora is caused by the emission of light from atoms excited by electrons accelerated along the planet’s magnetic field lines.  In the northern hemisphere, these are known as aurora borealis, and in the southern hemisphere in places like Australia and New Zealand they are known as aurora australis. Generally, this natural light display is called the polar lights or aurora polaris. These northern lights and southern lights are visible in Earth’s sky only at high-latitude regions such as the northern latitudes by the north pole or the southern regions of the Earth. These streamers of light are a brilliant display of bands of colors caused by collisions of air molecules, and look like curtains of breathtaking blues, greens and purples. This luminous atmospheric phenomenon is something everyone should see at least once. Researchers assert that auroral activity is cyclic, peaking roughly every 11 years. This would mean that the next big peak of auroral activity would be in 2024. Start planning your trip now!

The northern lights are connected with sunspot activity, which has been suspected since around 1880. Researchers have been actively studying this since the 1950s, and we now know that electrons and protons from the sun are blown towards the earth via the solar wind. They studied this with balloons, radar, rockets and satellites. The Sun is millions of degrees Celsius on its surface. At this high temperature, the collisions between gas molecules are frequent and explosive, anf electrons and protons are constantly thrown out of the atmosphere by the rotation of the sun and escape through holes in the magnetic field. Then, they are blown toward the Earth, deflected by its magnetic field. The magnetic field of the Earth is weaker at the poles, which is why they can sometimes enter and collide with the gas particles, causing the northern lights. The northern lights can generally extend from 80 kilometers (50 miles) to as high as 640 kilometers (400 miles) above the earth’s surface. 

Very Well Family and The Bump state that Aurora is also a popular girl’s name. This name is pronounced aw-ROHR-uh and is of Latin origin. The Latin Aurora means dawn, and is also a city in Illinois near Chicago, and near Denver in central Colorado. It is used in the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Romanian, and Finnish languages. Historically, this is a feminine name. Common nicknames for the name Aurora are Arie, Aura, Dawn, Orie, Ro, and Rory. Similar names and variations include Aurelie, Aurelija, Aurica, Aureliana Aurelia, Aurea, Aura, Aroa, Aurore, and Avrora. There are many famous people named Aurora, including Aurora Quezon, Aurora “Rory” Block, Aurora Karamzina, Aurora Kiljenroth, Aurora Pavlovna Demidova, Aurora Bretón, Aurora Cáceres, Aurora Clavel, and Aurora Reyes-Flores. Aurora Greenway was also the name of the moving Shirley Maclaine character in the movie Terms of Endearment. Below are more popular girls’ names starting with the letter A, from Baby Chick.

  • Adella
  •  Amanda
  •  Arianna
  •  Alyson
  •  Allie
  •  Anissa
  •  Adelia
  •  Amelia
  •  Adalyn
  •  Amy
  •  Arlette
  •  Alise
  •  Abigail
  •  Anastasia
  •  Aislin
  •  Aubrey
  •  Ann
  •  Aaliyah
  •  Alexandrina
  •  Alicia
  •  Adeline
  •  Addilyn
  •  Annie
  •  Alexandria
  •  Avery
  •  Annalise
  •  Andrea
  •  Alison
  •  Alexa
  •  Arielle
  •  Ashley
  •  Adele
  •  Amber
  •  Alyssa
  •  Adalynn
  •  Addison
  •  Anaya
  •  Allison
  •  Alina
  •  Aurelia
  •  Aubree
  •  Aliza
  •  Angela
  •  Anna
  •  Amara
  •  Austyn
  •  Adley
  •  Ana
  •  Ayla
  •  Ashlynn
  •  Alessandra
  •  Annabelle
  •  Aspen
  •  Aisha
  •  Ariel
  •  Audrey
  •  Anya
  •  Alana
  •  Asha
  •  Andi
  •  April
  •  Ava
  •  Aubriella
  •  Alondra
  •  Alisha
  •  Ainsley
  •  Anais
  •  Alma
  •  Anna
  •  Avery
  •  Adelisa
  •  Ansley
  •  Alivia
  •  Abella
  •  Astrid
  •  Adrienne
  •  Arya
  •  Aileen
  •  Autumn
  •  Abbott
  •  Ariana
  •  Azalea
  •  Alayna
  •  Aria
  •  Avah
  •  Annika
  •  Avianna
  •  Athena
  •  Alaya
  •  Alexia
  •  Amira
  •  Amelie
  •  Angelina
  •  Aviana
  •  Adalee
  •  Amaya
  •  Alexandra
  •  Ada
  •  Alice

Aurora, according to Myth Encyclopedia, was also the Roman goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology. In Greek, she was known as Eos. Her father and mother were the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and her siblings were Helios, God of the Sun, and Selene, Goddess of the Moon. Legend has it that Aurora rode her horse-drawn chariot across the sky ahead of the run every morning. She arose from the sea with a pitcher that she used to sprinkle dew upon the Earth. The married the Titan Astraeus and had many sons, the winds winds Boreas, Eurus, Notus, and Zephyrus as well as the morning star Eosphorus and the evening star Hesperus. She was so beautiful that Mars, the God of War, took interest in her. This angered Venus, or Aphrodite. 

Aurora is also the main character of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. She is also known as Briar Rose. The film came out in 1959. In the film, Princess Aurora gets cursed by the evil fairy Maleficent on the day of her christening, and the three good fairies work together to make Aurora sleep until she receives true love’s kiss. She was the third member of the Disney Princess lineup after Snow White and Cinderella, according to Fandom.

Overall, the word aurora means a light phenomenon that is seen in different regions caused by Earth’s magnetic field. Aurora is also a goddess of the break of the day in Roman mythology She is the counterpart of the Greek Eos and the goddess of the morning or daybreak. 

Sources:

  1. Aurora | Myth Encyclopedia – Greek, god, war, Roman
  2. Aurora | Disney Wiki | Fandom
  3. Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis Explained | Northern Lights Centre  
  4. Question What are the northern lights? | LOC 
  5. Aurora: Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity | Very Well Family 
  6. Aurora – Baby Name Meaning, Origin and Popularity | The Bump 
  7. Aurora | Definition of Aurora | Merriam-Webster 
  8. 100 Baby Girl Names That Start With A | Baby Chick