aurora borealis

aurora bo·​re·​al·​is | \ -ˌbȯr-ē-ˈa-ləs How to pronounce aurora borealis (audio) \

Definition of aurora borealis

: an aurora that occurs in earth's northern hemisphere

called also northern lights

Examples of aurora borealis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Northern lights tend to be called the aurora borealis and southern lights the aurora australis. Jamie Carter, Forbes, "Northern Lights Likely This Week As Strongest ‘Solar Storm’ Yet In Sun’s Cycle Kicks-Off ‘Aurora Season’," 2 Mar. 2021 With towering icebergs, unspoiled tundra, and unbeatable views of the aurora borealis, Greenland has all the makings of a tourist hot spot—not unlike where Iceland was a decade ago. Stephanie Vermillion, Condé Nast Traveler, "Greenland Is Approaching Tourism Slowly—And Taking Lessons from Iceland," 24 Mar. 2021 The northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, could be seen dancing in the sky in Michigan's Upper Peninsula last Friday and Saturday. Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, "Northern lights appear in Michigan's Upper Peninsula over the weekend," 23 Mar. 2021 Some people paused and looked up, observing the colorful simulation of the aurora borealis dangling from the Terminal 1 ceiling, far overhead. Alicia Eler, Star Tribune, "Huge new sculpture lights up MSP airport, offering passengers a chance to smile and play," 19 Mar. 2021 Some reports of the aurora borealis were spotted as far south as Chicago. Eric Mack, Forbes, "Aurora Borealis Puts On Surprise Show, With A Possible Encore Tonight," 1 Mar. 2021 Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Redman had never even heard of the aurora borealis before moving to the small Alaskan town in the spring of 2001. Washington Post, "The aurora borealis skipped this Alaska photography class. But some swinging light cords saved the night.," 26 Feb. 2021 Our local star is entering the more active phase of its solar cycle, boosting the potential for both possible disruptions and awesome displays of the aurora borealis and aurora australis. Eric Mack, Forbes, "Sunspots, Solar Flares, Auroras: Space Weather Getting Spicy," 25 Feb. 2021 These solar storms are the source of northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, and stronger storms increase the chances of seeing the aurora at lower latitudes. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "U.S. no longer expected to have rare chance to spot northern lights," 10 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aurora borealis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aurora borealis

1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aurora borealis

New Latin, literally, northern dawn

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Time Traveler for aurora borealis

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The first known use of aurora borealis was in 1707

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Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aurora borealis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for aurora borealis

aurora borealis

au·​ro·​ra bo·​re·​al·​is | \ ə-ˌrȯr-ə-ˌbȯr-ē-ˈa-ləs How to pronounce aurora borealis (audio) \

Kids Definition of aurora borealis

: broad bands of light that have a magnetic and electrical source and that appear in the sky at night especially in the arctic regions

More from Merriam-Webster on aurora borealis

Nglish: Translation of aurora borealis for Spanish Speakers

Comments on aurora borealis

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