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Star polyhedron

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Title: Star polyhedron  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Icositruncated dodecadodecahedron, Kepler–Poinsot polyhedron, Great truncated icosidodecahedron, Snub icosidodecadodecahedron, Regular polyhedron
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Star polyhedron

In geometry, a star polyhedron is a polyhedron which has some repetitive quality of nonconvexity giving it a star-like visual quality.

There are two general kinds of star polyhedron:

  • Polyhedra which self-intersect in a repetitive way.
  • Concave polyhedra of a particular kind which alternate convex and concave or saddle vertices in a repetitive way. Mathematically these figures are examples of star domains.

Mathematical studies of star polyhedra are usually concerned with regular, uniform polyhedra, or the duals of the uniform polyhedra. All these stars are of the self-intersecting kind.


  • Self-intersecting star polyhedra 1
    • Regular star polyhedra 1.1
    • Uniform and uniform dual star polyhedra 1.2
    • Stellations and facettings 1.3

Self-intersecting star polyhedra

Regular star polyhedra

The regular star polyhedra, are self-intersecting polyhedra. They may either have self-intersecting faces, or self-intersecting vertex figures.

There are four regular star polyhedra, known as the Kepler-Poinsot polyhedra. The Schläfli symbol {p,q} implies faces with p sides, and vertex figures with q sides. Two of them have pentagrammic {5/2} faces and two have pentagrammic vertex figures.

These images show each form with a single face colored yellow to show the visible portion of that face.

Uniform and uniform dual star polyhedra

There are many uniform star polyhedra including two infinite series, of prisms and of antiprisms, and their duals.

The uniform and dual uniform star polyhedra are also self-intersecting polyhedra. They may either have self-intersecting faces, or self-intersecting vertex figures or both.

The uniform star polyhedra have regular faces or regular star polygon faces. The dual uniform star polyhedra have regular faces or regular star polygon vertex figures.

Example uniform polyhedra and their duals
Uniform polyhedron Dual polyhedron

The pentagrammic prism is a prismatic star polyhedron. It is composed of two pentagram faces connected by five intersecting square faces.

The pentagrammic dipyramid is also a star polyhedron, representing the dual to the pentagrammic prism. It is face-transitive, composed of ten intersecting isosceles triangles.

The great dodecicosahedron is a star polyhedron, constructed from a single vertex figure of intersecting hexagonal and decagrammic, {10/3}, faces.

The great dodecicosacron is the dual to the great dodecicosahedron. It is face-transitive, composed of 60 intersecting bow-tie-shaped quadrilateral faces.

Stellations and facettings

Beyond the forms above, there are unlimited classes of self-intersecting (star) polyhedra.

Two important classes are the stellations of convex polyhedra and their duals, the facettings of the dual polyhedra.

For example, the complete stellation of the icosahedron (illustrated) can be interpreted as a self-intersecting polyhedron composed of 12 identical faces, each a

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