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Real Space Sextics and their Tritangents
Avinash Kulkarni, Yue Ren, Mahsa Sayyary Namin and Bernd Sturmfels
The intersection of a quadric and a cubic surface in 3-space is a canonical curve of genus 4. It has 120 complex tritangent planes. We present algorithms for computing real tritangents, and we study the associated discriminants. We focus on space sextics that arise from del Pezzo surfaces of degree one. Their numbers of planes that are tangent at three real points vary widely; both 0 and 120 are attained. This solves a problem suggested by Arnold Emch in 1928.