Stars, so far as we understand them today, are not “alive”.
Now and again we saw a binary and a third star approach one another so closely that one or other of the group reached out a filament of its substance toward its partner. Straining our supernatural vision, we saw these filaments break and condense into planets. And we were awed by the infinitesimal size and the rarity of these seeds of life among the lifeless host of the stars. But the stars themselves gave an irresistible impression of vitality. Strange that the movements of these merely physical things, these mere fire-balls, whirling and traveling according to the geometrical laws of their minutest particles, should seem so vital, so questing.
Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker (1937)
And yet, it still makes sense to speak of a star being “born”, “living” and even “dying”.
We have moved on from Stapledon’s poetic description…
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