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I realize that this may not be 100% on-topic, but I'm hoping that it's close enough.

The Cnet article This asteroid looks like rolling Dungeons & Dragons dice links to the NASA News article Asteroid Resembles Dungeons and Dragons Dice which says:

Radar images of asteroid 2017 BQ6 were obtained on Feb. 6 and 7 with NASA’s 70-meter (230-foot) antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California. They reveal an irregular, angular-appearing asteroid about 660 feet (200 meters) in size that rotates about once every three hours. The images have resolutions as fine as 12 feet (3.75 meters) per pixel.

“The radar images show relatively sharp corners, flat regions, concavities, and small bright spots that may be boulders,” said Lance Benner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who leads the agency’s asteroid radar research program. “Asteroid 2017 BQ6 reminds me of the dice used when playing Dungeons and Dragons. It is certainly more angular than most near-Earth asteroids imaged by radar.


Question: Which Dungeons and Dragons die looks like this asteroid as imaged by NASA?


NASA delay-doppler radar images of asteroid 2017 BQ6

above: "This composite of 25 images of asteroid 2017 BQ6 was generated with radar data collected using NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar in California's Mojave Desert. The images were gathered on Feb. 7, 2017, between 8:39 and 9:50 p.m. PST (11:39 p.m. EST and 12:50 a.m., Feb. 7), revealing an irregular, angular-appearing asteroid about 660 feet (200 meters) in size that rotates about once every three hours. The images have resolutions as fine as 12 feet (3.75 meters) per pixel." Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

below: "This composite of 11 images of asteroid 2017 BQ6 was generated with radar data collected using NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar in California's Mojave Desert on Feb. 5, 2017, between 5:24 and 5:52 p.m. PST (8:24 to 8:52 p.m. EST / 1:24 to 1:52 UTC). The images have resolutions as fine as 12 feet (3.75 meters) per pixel." Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

NASA delay-doppler radar images of asteroid 2017 BQ6

closed as off-topic by L. Scott Johnson, doppelgreener, SocioMatt, Glorfindel, Toon Krijthe May 16 at 22:12

  • This question does not appear to be about board or card games within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • there isn't an identify-this-object tag, so I've used the closest thing I could find. Help with tagging welcomed! – uhoh May 16 at 4:28
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about board and card games within the scope defined in our help center. – doppelgreener May 16 at 13:51
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The asteroid itself is too irregular to map well to any particular D&D die. I don't believe the author had any particular die in mind, which is why they use the term "the dice" instead of calling out a particular type die.

That said... it looks a lot like some D7's:

enter image description here

The D7 is not one of the standard D&D dice, but I think is a much better match. This variation of a D7 is not even a fair die, though neither is that asteroid by the looks of it. All of the D&D dice are fair dice; in fact, all but the D10 are Platonic Solids, hence none of them being a good match for the irregularities of the asteroid.

  • I'm having a hard time understanding that die, but the shape itself does indeed look like a good match. – uhoh May 16 at 12:02
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    @uhoh it's something along the lines of 7 pentagons stuck together with some irregular filler to make all the main sides connect. – Zags May 16 at 12:07
  • Thank you for your discussion of the standard D&D dice as well as the D7, you've given me some things to think about. fyi I found "This design is based on spacing points as equally as possible on a sphere and then cutting planar slices perpendicular to those directions." here as one way to make a D7. – uhoh May 17 at 0:05
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It looks not much like any of them, being non-regular.

The author of that article probably just means: it looks like a convex polyhedron / polyhedron with fewer than a dozen sides. The author then chose a reference that was more accessible to non-mathematicians than that terminology.

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    Right, it just looks like dice in general—as opposed to looking like a weird potato. – doppelgreener May 16 at 12:39
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Based on the angular point with triangular-looking faces radiating out from it from one angle (your bottom image), and the way that the faces are meeting in a "zigzag" pattern rather than a straight line when viewed from another angle (your first image), I'd say that it most strongly resembles a ten-sided die, also known as a d10.

d10 Die, courtesy of Wikipedia

  • I see what you mean, thanks! – uhoh May 16 at 5:52
  • (Upvoting in response to the spurious downvote.) – L. Scott Johnson May 17 at 11:57

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