- Also see: Stable constellations
A constellation is any pattern that comprises only simple objects, such as still lifes, oscillators and escaping spaceships. Spaceships are frequently considered not a part of the constellation proper.
- An empty space when every cell died.
- A constellation of still lifes, oscillators and diverging spaceships. A methuselah's lifetime is computed when the number of cells stabilizes as a fixed number, or a periodic one, and no collision may occur.
- Or one or more regular infinitely growing object (such as the Gosper glider gun or the block-laying switch engine), possibly with accompanying finite objects.
Constellations are named after a night sky's observation, where some stars seem to be grouped hapazard and never move: even a shooting star won't rearrange the overall look.
The familiar fours
The familiar fours are commonly seen (components of) constellations in Life that are made of four identical objects each:
- The traffic light, a constellation of four blinkers
- The honey farm, a constellation of four beehives
- The blockade, a constellation of four blocks
- The fleet, a constellation of four ships (or: two ship-ties)
- The bakery, a constellation of four loaves (or: two half-bakerys)