An Augmented Great Dodecahedron

To make this polyhedron, I started with a great dodecahedron, and then augmented each of its facelets with a prism, using a program called Stella 4d. You can try this program for free at this website.

A Hybrid Polyhedron: The “Offspring” of Jessen’s Icosahedron and the Great Dodecahedron

I stumbled upon this interesting hybrid of two well-known polyhedra, while simply playing around with Stella 4d, the software I use to make these rotating polyhedral images (you can try a free trial download of it here).

Jessens icosa meets the great dodeca

The faces of the above polyhedron are twelve modified regular pentagons, each with a triangular piece removed which contained one of the pentagon’s edges. Therefore, it would also be correct to refer to these modified pentagons as non-convex hexagons. These modified pentagons interpenetrate, so all that can be seen are triangular “facelets” — the parts of the faces which are not hidden inside the polyhedron. Each of these facelets is a golden gnomon (an obtuse, isosceles triangle with a base:leg ratio which is the golden ratio), and these golden gnomons come in two sizes. The larger ones were “inherited” from Jessen’s icosahedron, and there are twelve of them. The smaller golden gnomons, on the other hand, were “inherited” from the great dodecahedron, and are twenty-four in number, in eight sets of three. Like Jessen’s icosahedron itself, but unlike the great dodecahedron, this hybrid has pyritohedral symmetry.

For more information about Jessen’s icosahedron, please visit this site at Wolfram Mathworld. Also, here is an image of Jessen’s icosahedron, one of the two “parents” of the hybrid above.

Jessens Icosa

While Jessen’s icosahedron is a relatively new discovery (Børge Jessen revealed it to the world in 1967), the hybrid’s other “parent,” the great dodecahedron, has been known for much longer; Louis Poinsot discovered it in 1809, according to this source. Here’s an image of the great dodecahedron.

Great Dodeca

As you can see, the smaller golden gnomons found in the hybrid above were “inherited” from the great dodecahedron, while the larger ones came from the six indented face-pairs found in Jessen’s icosahedron.

A well-known property of Jessen’s icosahedron is that it is “shaky,” unlike most polyhedra, which are rigid. A physical model of Jessen’s icosahedron, made from paper and tape, can, in fact, be collapsed to form an octahedron. While I suspect that a physical, paper-and-tape model of this newly-discovered hybrid polyhedron would share these properties (“shakiness,” and at least some degree of collapsibility), I have not (yet) tested this conjecture.

The Greatly Augmented Icosidodecahedron, and Its Dual

Augmented Icosidodeca

If a central polyhedron’s pentagonal and triangular faces are augmented by great dodecahedra and great icosahedra, I refer to it as a “greatly augmented” polyhedron. Here, this has been done with an icosidodecahedron. The same figure appears below, but in “rainbow color” mode.

Augmented Icosidodeca colored rainbow

In the next image, “color by face type,” based on symmetry, was used.

Augmented Icosidodeca colored by face type

The next image shows the dual of this polyhedral cluster, with face color chosen on the basis of number of sides.

Augmented Icosidodeca colored by whether sides have 5 or 16 sides

Here is another version of the dual, this one in “rainbow color” mode.

Augmented Icosidodeca colored rainbow DUAL

Finally, this image of the dual is colored based on face type.

Augmented Icosidodeca colored by face type DUAL

These six images were made with Stella 4d, which may be found here.

The Greatly Augmented Rhombicosidodecahedron

Greatly Augmented Rhombicosidodeca

I call this variant of the rhombicosidodecahedron “greatly augmented” because it was formed by augmenting each pentagonal face of a central rhombicosidodecahedron with a great dodecahedron, while each triangular face is augmented with a great icosahedron. It was made using Stella 4d, which may be found here.

Polygons Related to the Golden Ratio, and Associated Figures in Geometry, Part 1: Triangles

golden triangles

There are two isosceles triangles which are related to the golden ratio, [1 + sqrt(5)]/2, and I used to refer to them as the “golden acute isosceles triangle” and the “golden obtuse isosceles triangle,” before I found out these triangles already have other names –the ones shown above. The golden triangle, especially, shows up in some well-known polyhedra, such as both the great and small stellated dodecahedron. The triangles which form the “points” or “arms” of regular star pentagons (also known as pentagrams) are also golden triangles.

These triangles have sides which are in the golden ratio. For the golden triangle, it is the leg:base ratio which is golden, as shown above. For the golden gnomon, this ratio is reversed:  the base:leg ratio is φ, or ~1.61803 — the irrational number known as the golden ratio.

The angle ratios of each of these triangles are also unique. The golden triangle’s angles are in a 1:2:2 ratio, while the angles of the golden gnomon are in a ratio of 1:1:3.

Another interesting fact about these two triangles is that each one can be subdivided into one of each type of triangle. The golden triangle can be split into a golden gnomon, and a smaller golden triangle, while the golden gnomon can be split into a golden triangle, and a smaller golden gnomon, as seen below.

golden triangles 2

This process can be repeated indefinitely, in each case, creating ever-smaller triangles of each type.

Polyhedra which use these triangles, as either faces or “facelets” (the visible parts of partially-hidden faces) are not uncommon, as previously mentioned. The three most well-known examples are three of the four Kepler-Poinsot solids. In the first two shown below, the small stellated dodecahedron and the great stellated dodecahedron, the actual faces are regular star pentagons which interpenetrate, but the facelets are golden triangles.

Small Stellated Dodeca

Great Stellated Dodeca

The next example is also a Kepler-Poinsot solid: the great dodecahedron. Its actual faces are simply regular pentagons, not star pentagons, but, again, they interpenetrate, hiding much of each face from view. The visible parts, or “facelets,” are golden gnomons.

Great Dodeca

For another example of a polyhedron made of golden gnomons, I made one myself — meaning that if anyone else has ever seen this polyhedron before, this fact is unknown to me, although I cannot rule it out. I have not given it a name. It has thirty-six faces, all of which are golden gnomons. There are twelve of the larger ones, shown in yellow, and twenty-four of the smaller ones, shown in red. This polyhedron has pyritohedral symmetry (the same type of symmetry seen in the seam-pattern of a typical volleyball), and its convex hull is the icosahedron.

36 golden gnomons

[Picture credits: to create the images in this post, I used both Geometer’s Sketchpad and MS-Paint for the two still, flat pictures found at the top. To make images of the four rotating polyhedra, I used a different program, Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. Stella is available for purchase, with a free trial download available, at]

A Great Dodecahedron, Augmented with Twelve Icosidodecahedra, and Its Dual

Augmented Great Dodeca with icosidodecahedra

Each face of a great dodecahedron is a regular pentagon, and each of those pentagonal faces has an icosidodecahedron attached to it, in the figure above. The dual of this figure appears below.

Augmented Great Dodeca with icosidodecahedra dual

Both images were created with Stella 4d, software available at