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Aurora is the Roman name for the Goddess of the Dawn. Her mythology and attributes are the same as the Greek Eos, and She does not seem to have any specifically Roman mythology. Her name simply means "the dawn, daybreak, or sunrise", and in time the word came to signify the East as well as the peoples from the Eastern lands. Her name may be related to Latin aurum, meaning "gold", through the shared idea of brightness.

Ovid tells of Her in his Metamorphoses: he describes Her as being ever-young, and the first to awake, so that She may bring the light of day in Her chariot which She rides into the sky ahead of the Sun. She has a purple mantle that spreads out behind Her as She rides; and She is said to scatter roses and flowers before Her. Others describe Her with great white wings, like Eos. She is said to be the mother of the four winds; though this part of Her legend is Greek, one variant spelling of Her name, Aurura, has the meaning of "breeze or wind". She is considered the mother of the morning star, Lucifer (which means "the Light Bringer"), a name for the planet Venus, (though not necessarily of the Goddess Venus), who watches over the twilight until His mother takes over for Him. Lucifera (the feminine version) is attested as an epithet of Diana as the Moon Goddess.

An aurora is of course also the name for the phenomenon of the northern (or southern) lights, great displays of shifting colors in the skies of the far north and south. Aurora borealis is said to mean "red dawn of the north", and was given its name by Galileo Galilei, the scientist who discovered the moons of Jupiter. Aurorae are caused by solar particles interacting with gasses in the Earth's atmosphere. The Earth's magnetic field funnels these particles to the poles (both north and south), where they emit light, in colors ranging from red to yellow-green to blue and violet, depending on the atmospheric molecule the particles come in contact with. They are generally said to look like shifting curtains or veils of light, evoking Aurora's cloak blowing behind Her as She rides across the sky.