Normal and Expanded Versions of the Rhombic Enneacontahedron

The polyhedron above is the rhombic enneacontahedron. Sixty of its faces are wide (yellow) rhombi, while the other thirty are narrow (red) rhombi. The wider rhombi are arranged in twelve panels of five rhombi each. If those panels are moved outward from the center by just the right amount, the narrower rhombi have room to expand, becoming equilateral octagons:

Both of these rotating images were created using Stella 4d, a program you can try, for free, at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.

A Rhombic Enneacontahedron, Adorned with Jumpy Tessellations Which Resemble Rhombic Enneacontahedra

Zonohedrified Dodeca.gif

Software credit: I made this using Stella 4d, available here.

Building a Rhombic Enneacontahedron, Using Icosahedra and Elongated Octahedra

With four icosahedra, and four octahedra, it is possible to attach them to form this figure:

Augmented Icosa

This figure is actually a rhombus, but the gap between the two central icosahedra is so small that this is hard to see. To remedy this problem, I elongated the octahedra, thereby creating this narrow rhombus:

narrow rhombus

It is also possible to use the same collection of polyhedra to make a wider rhombus, as seen below.

wide rhombus

These aren’t just any rhombi, either, but the exact rhombi found in the polyhedron below, the rhombic enneacontahedron. It has ninety rhombi as faces: sixty wide ones, and thirty narrow ones.

REC

As a result, it is possible to use the icosahedra-and-elongated-octahedra rhombi, above, to construct a rhombic enneacontahedron made of these other two polyhedra. The next several images show it under construction (I “built” it using Stella 4d, available at this website), culminating with the complete figure.

panelnof five rhombi

panel of ten rhombi

bowl towards rec

giant rec about half complete

giant rec almost finished

giant rec complete

Lastly, I made one more image — the same completed shape, but in “rainbow color mode.”

giant rec complete rainbow

A Cluster of Thirty-One Rhombic Enneacontahedra

31 RECs

The rhombic enneacontahedron has thirty faces which are narrow rhombi, and sixty faces which are wider rhombi. It is also known as a vertex-based zonohedrified dodecahedron. To create this cluster-polyhedron, I started with one rhombic enneacontahedron in the center, and then augmented its thirty red faces (the narrow rhombi) with additional rhombic enneacontahedra. In the image above, I kept the yellow color for all the wide rhombi, and red for all the narrow ones. In the next image, however, the rhombi are colored by face type, referring to their position in the entire cluster-polyhedron.

31 RECs 2

Software credit: I created this using Stella 4d, software you can buy, or try for free, at this website.

Eight Selections from the Stellation-Series of the Rhombic Enneacontahedron

33rd stellation of the rhombic triacontahedron

The stellation-series of the rhombic enneacontahedron has many polyhedra which are, to be blunt, not much to look at — but there are some attractive “gems” hidden among this long series of polyhedral stellations. The one above, the 33rd stellation, is the first one attractive one I found — using, of course, my own, purely subjective, esthetic criteria.

The next attractive stellation I found in this series is the 80th stellation. Unlike the 33rd, it is chiral.

80th stellation of the rhombic triacontahedron

And, after that, the 129th stellation, which is also chiral:

129th stellation of the rhombic triacontahedron

Next, the 152nd (and non-chiral) stellation:

152nd stellation of the rhombic enneacontahedron

I also found the non-chiral 158th stellation worthy of inclusion here:

158th stellation of the rhombic enneacontahedron

After that, the chiral 171st stellation was the next one to attract my attention:

171st stellation of the rhombic enneacontahedron

The next one to attract my notice was the also-chiral 204th stellation:

204th stellation of the rhombic enneacontahedron

Some polyhedral stellation-series are incredibly long, with thousands, or even millions, of stellations possible before one reaches the final stellation, after which stellating the polyehdron one more time causes it to “wrap around” to the original polyhedron. Knowing this, I lost patience, and simply jumped straight to the final stellation of the rhombic triacontahedron — the last image in this post:

final stellation of the rhombic enneacontahedron

All of these images were created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, a program available at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php. For anyone interested in seriously studying polyhedra, I consider this program an indispensable research tool (and, no, I receive no compensation for all this free advertising for Stella which appears on my blog). There’s a free trial version available — why not give it a try?

Using the Rhombic Dodecahedron and the Rhombic Enneacontahedron to Create a “Near Near-Miss” to the Johnson Solids

This is the rhombic dodecahedron, the dual of the Archimedean cuboctahedron.

Rhombic Dodeca

While the rhombic dodecahedron has 12 faces, there are many other polyhedra made entirely out of rhombi, and most of them have more than twelve faces. An example is the rhombic enneacontahedron, which has two face-types: sixty wide rhombi, and thirty narrow ones. It is one of several possible zonohedrified dodecahedra.

Zonohedrified Dodeca

As the next figure shows, the wide rhombi of the rhombic enneacontahedron have exactly the same shape as the rhombic dodecahedron’s faces, so the two polyhedra can be stuck together (augmented) at those faces. These wide rhombi have diagonals with lengths in a ratio of one to the square root of two.

Zonohedrified Dodeca with RD

The next picture shows what happens if you take one central rhombic enneacontahedron, and augment all sixty of its wide faces with rhombic dodecahedra.

Augmented Zonohedrified Dodeca

Since this polyhedral cluster in non-convex, it can be changed by creating its convex hull, which can the thought of as pulling a rubber sheet tightly around the entire polyhedron. Here’s the convex hull of the augmented polyhedron above.

Convex hull of RD-augmented REC

The program I use to make these rotating images, Stella 4d (which you can try here), has a function called “try to make faces regular.” If applied to the convex hull above, this function leaves the triangles and pentagon regular, and makes the octagons regular as well. However, the rhombi become kites. The rectangles merely change, getting slightly longer, while rotating 90º, but they do remain rectangles.

convex hull of RD-augmented REC after TTMFRegular worked on the octagons

After creating this last polyhedron, I started stellating it. After stellating it eight times, I obtained this polyhedron:

8th

Once more, I applied the “try to make faces regular” function.

Unnamed after TTMFR

This polyhedron has five-valent vertices where the shorter edges of the kites meet. These are also the vertices of pentagonal pyramids which use kite-diagonals as base edges. By using faceting (the inverse operation of stellation), I next removed these pyramids, exposing their regular pentagonal faces.

Faceted Poly

In this polyhedron, all faces are regular, except for the red triangles, which are isosceles. (There are also triangles — the pink ones — which are regular.) Each of these isosceles triangles has ~63.2º base angles, and a ~53.6º vertex angle, with legs just under 11% longer than the base. This is a judgement call, for “near-miss” to the Johnson solids has not been precisely defined, but I see an ~11% edge-length difference as too great for this to be classified as a “near-miss,” even though I would love to claim discovery of another near-miss to the Johnson solids (if it even turns out I am the first one to find this polyhedron, which may not be the case). It is close to being a near-miss, though, so it belongs in the even-less-precisely defined group of polyhedra which are called, quite informally, “near near-misses.”

For the sake of comparison, here is a similar polyhedron (included in Stella 4d‘s enormous, built-in library of polyhedra) which is recognized as a near-miss to the Johnson solids. (I do not know the name of the person who discovered it, or I would include it here — I only know it wasn’t me.) It’s called the “half-truncated truncated icosahedron,” and its longest ledges are just over 7% longer than its shorter edges, with the non-regularity of faces also limited to isosceles triangles. However, this irregularity appears in all of the triangles in the polyhedron below — and in the “near near-miss above,” the irregularity only appeared in some of the triangular faces.

Half-trunc Trunc Icosa

Craters and Slopes Near the South Pole of the Moon Adorn the Faces of a Rhombic Enneacontahedron

Zonohedrified Dodeca

The images on the faces of this polyhedron are based on information sent from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter, as seen at http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lola/feature-20110705.html and tweeted by @LRO_NASA, which has been happily tweeting about its fifth anniversary in a polar lunar orbit recently. I have no idea whether this is actually an A.I. onboard the LRO, or simply someone at NASA getting paid to have fun on Twitter.

To get these images from near the Lunar South Pole onto the faces of a rhombic enneacontahedron, and then create this rotating image, I used Stella 4d:  Polyhedron Navigator. There is no better tool available for polyhedral research. To check this program out for yourself, simply visit www.software3d.com/Stella.php.