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An Aura is an optical effect wherein gas or dust surrounding an object luminesces or reflects light from the object.

The visual disturbance seen by about half of all migraine sufferers is also called aura.

Sufferers of repeated seizures (called epilepsy) often have a telltale sensation, often a strange light or unpleasant smell which comes before the actual seizure, called an aura.

Table of contents
1 Paranormal "Aura"
2 Figurative Meaning
3 See Also
4 External References

Paranormal "Aura"

Some people believe that there is a visible energy field, called an aura, that can be seen or otherwise sensed around living beings—especially around humans. These energy fields are sometimes claimed to be documented by a rare form of photography called Kirlian photography. However, these claims are vigorously denied by skeptics about paranormal activity. James Randi, for example, has for many years (as of 2004) offered one million US dollars to any person capable of repeatedly detecting auras, and no person has ever stepped forward to claim the prize. The test involves a simple task.

See: Aura analysis, biophotonics

Figurative Meaning

Figuratively, an aura refers to the character of concepts/issues/phenomena surrounding a particular topic. eg: "The discussion had an aura of casualness".

The Marxist cultural critic Walter Benjamin also used the term "aura" to refer to the feeling of awe created by unique or remarkable objects such as works of art or relics of the past. According to Benjamin older cultures can generate auras around particular objects of veneration, while capitalist culture has the opposite effect, causing the decay of the aura due to the proliferation of mass producion and reproduction technologies.

See Also

Aura is a municipality in Finland, see Aura (Finland)

Aura is a satellite in the NASA Earth Observing System series, launched July 15, 2004

AURA is an Acronym for: Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

External References