A geometric figure composed of several polyhedra sharing a common centre, the three-dimensional analogs of polygonal compounds such as the hexagram.
The best known is the compound of two tetrahedra called the stella octangula, discovered by Kepler. The vertices define a cube and the intersection of the two an octahedron, which shares the same face-planes as the compound. Thus it is a stellation of the octahedron, and in fact, the only stellation thereof.
The stella octangula is one of only five compounds that are vertex-, edge-, and face-uniform, called regular compounds:
Components Vertices Face-planes Symmetry group - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 tetrahedra Cube Octahedron Oh 5 tetrahedra Dodecahedron Icosahedron I 10 tetrahedra Dodecahedron Icosahedron Ih 5 cubes Dodecahedron Rhombic triacontahedron Ih 5 octahedra Icosidodecahedron Icosahedron IhThe compound of 5 tetrahedra actually comes in two enantiomorphic versions, which together make up the compound of 10 tetrahedra. Each of the tetrahedral compounds is self-dual, and the compound of 5 cubes is dual to the compound of 5 octahedra.
The stella octangula can also be regarded as a compound of a tetrahedron with its dual polyhedron, inscribed in a common sphere so that the vertices of one line up with the face centres of the other. The corresponding cube-octahedron and dodecahedron-icosahedron compounds are the first stellations of the cuboctahedron and icosidodecahedron, respectively.