American Dictionary of the English Language

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AURO'RA, noun [Latin aurora; Heb. light and to raise.]

1. The rising light of the morning; the dawn of day, or morning twilight.

2. The goddess of the morning, or twilight deified by fancy. The poets represented her as rising out of the ocean, in a chariot, with rosy fingers dropping gentle dew.

3. A species of crowfoot.

Aurora Borealis, or lumen boreale; northern twilight. This species of light usually appears in streams, ascending towards the zenith from a dusky line a few degrees above the horizon. sometimes it assumes a wavy appearance, as in America, in March 1782, when it overspread the whole hemisphere. Sometimes it appears in detached places; at other times, it almost covers the hemisphere. As the streams of light have a tremulous motion, they are called, in the Shetland isles, merry dancers. They assume all shapes, and a variety of colors, from a pale red or yellow to a deep red or blood color; and in the northern latitudes, serve to illuminate the earth and cheer the gloom of long winter nights. This light is sometimes near the earth. It is said to have been seen between the spectator and a distant mountain.