I'm not a scientist, nor even an amateur stargazer, but this is a<br />question I've been struggling with. Are the stars still there?<br /> For example, I read a bit on this site about the possiblity that<br />there may be parts of our universe that we've not yet seen, simply<br />because the light from them hasn't had time to reach us yet. OK, I can<br />understand that.<br /> But, what about the stars that we see at night? I seem to recall<br />that the nearest star to Earth is about 2.5 million light years away.<br />So, what if that star burned out a million years ago. We would still be<br />seeing the light from this star for another 1.5 million years. And that<br />is just the closest one!<br /> So, is it theoretically possible that ALL of the starlight we see is<br />coming from stars that have in fact burned out, and are not even really<br />there anymore, and that all we're seeing is the light that left them<br />before they burned out?<br /> Any logical reply in words that I can comprehend, or a reference to<br />somewhere I can read about this would be much appreciated. Thanks!