"Dead" is a planet class, and an item distribution flag.

Dead can also be a FLAG in the (Hull).ini file of a Ship, which sets a particular type of spacehulk-like behavior. See Dead (hull flag) for details.

Dead as an Item Distribution Flag

If an item has a DIST line with the entry "dead", then it can be found at dead and frozen worlds1

Dead as a Planet Class

In the absence of mods, "dead" is designated Planet Class "A".

A "dead" planet can appear as a planet at stars of the following are star classes, in roughly descending order of probability: cold, reddf, exotic, binary, redgt, blue, or bluegt.

Source: Main game files, dead1.ini
TEXT Dead planetoids are most often small, very cold, airless and sterile. Life, as we conceive it to be, cannot exist on worlds so barren and forlorn.

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