While it may seem a matter of pure superstition to have imagined a layer of fire covering the outermost reaches of the earth, we do nevertheless know that the earth's atmosphere is topped with plasma, atmospheric gasses ionized due to contact with solar ultraviolet radiation, in a region referred to as the ionosphere. Plasma is the same state of matter as that found in stars, and it’s the source of the upper atmospheric polar light shows called auroras. In other words, the ancient and medieval conception was correct: the earth wears a crown of plasmic “fire.”
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