On the SGC stargate there is the well known point of origin of an inverted V with a dot over the top of it. Every address dialed ends with the point of origin.

The reason behind the point of origin symbol was brought up here and the point that it can't be coordinates, since it's only one of six symbols for a coordinate has been discussed here.

But, even with some comments and suggestions, it's still not clear what this symbol does or why it has to be used at the end of every dial-out. Also, it is important to note that we've seen gates that were relocated and still worked without a change in the point-of-origin symbol.

What is the purpose of the point-of-origin symbol? And if it's just sending info about the gate itself or some coordinates, then why is it necessary to enter it at all, rather than that gate sending that information automatically?

Was the purpose of the point-of-origin ever defined?

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    To show how much smarter Daniel was than that OTHER geek. Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 4:07
  • @DVK: Which other geek? You mean Samantha Carter?
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 4:14
  • Possible duplicate.
    – user1027
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 4:55
  • @Keen: I address that -- it's discussed. While there are some possible purposes given, nobody can state for sure that they know what the purpose is. (I state this in the 2nd paragraph.)
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 5:02
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    @TangoOversway: I believe DVK is referring the other geek in the original Stargate movie. The one that fails to correctly translate the hieroglyphs.
    – bitmask
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 5:42

1 Answer 1


To tell the gate that you are done dialing.

  • To dial within the current galaxy, there were 6 symbols for spacial coordinates, ending with a point of origin.

  • To dial to another galaxy, 6 symbols for spacial coordinates, 1 symbol for the galaxy (like an area code, seemingly), and terminating with the point of origin.

  • To dial something else, it's 8 symbols plus the point of origin. As far as I remember, this has only been seen once - when dialing Destiny in Stargate Universe.

It can't be automated in the DHD due to the ability to dial manually on Milky Way gates. I would guess it was included on the others to keep the number of symbols consistent.

(Side note, the Tau'ri symbol, the pyramid with one sun, has been seen on at least one gate besides the one on Earth. Season 2 or 3, I think it was... So the points of origin aren't unique to each gate. Based on the original description of the coordinate system, most likely the Tau'ri symbol is part of a constellation that our sun is actually in, that's only visible from some other planets.)


So, just to add, the comments on the other question/answer reminded me of some things. From the comments, after I suggested the above without expanding on it, this was this response: (And it also came up in this answer's comments as well)

That would make sense, but there's no reason the button couldn't pop on the terminating "character" for the PoO as well. Certainly it'd be a better user experience... it would require the Gate to let the DHD know what the appropriate character is, but we know there's two-way communication (status/error codes etc) anyway.

No, it wouldn't make a better "user experience", it would introduce an inconsistency. The Milky Way gates were specifically designed to be able to manually dial in addition to using a DHD. If the DHD popped on the point of origin, you now have an extra indirection: 6 symbols if there's a DHD, then in the rare chance there's no DHD and you have to dial manually, you have to remember that there was also a point of origin.

Including the point of origin every time makes it almost impossible to forget it in those circumstances.

In addition, at the beginning of SG-1 6x09, "Allegiance", we see another use of the Stargate that seems to require a DHD: In a funeral ceremony, the Tok'ra presses the red crystal on the DHD without entering an address. The unstable vortex forms to destroy the body, then immediately deactivates. Given the above, this seems to be further evidence that the DHD termination character (^D, red crystal) does not have the same function as the Stargate termination character (\0, point of origin).

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    Do you have a source for this - or logic behind it?
    – Tango
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 4:41
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    @TangoOversway Point 1 is established in the original movie and the earliest episodes. I'm not sure if Point 2 is ever made explicit, but 7 chevrons + PoO is required for both the Asgard homeworld and the Pegasus galaxy. We know yet another chevron was needed for Destiny, but not exactly why or how, hence calling it "something else"
    – Izkata
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 6:32
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    "the Tau'ri symbol, the pyramid with one sun, has been seen on at least one gate besides the one on Earth." I believe canonically this is not true, even though it's true by visual inspection in the show - the off-world gate has that symbol because they'd only built two gate models by that point.
    – user1030
    Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 17:42
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    To indicate that you're done dialing, don't you have to hit the big button at the center of the DHD?
    – HNL
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 11:01
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    Side note (resurrecting an old conversation) - It is more likely that the original Milky Way style stargate was designed to be dialed "manually" (by machine, as the SGC does it) and the DHD (which bypasses the rotation) was added later as an upgrade. The older Destiny style gate has the entire gate rotate during the dialing sequence and the newer Pegasus style doesn't have any moving parts at all. This demonstrates a relatively clear line of technological progression. Using the "Point of Origin" as a "finished dialing" cue makes a lot more sense in this context.
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 18:27

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