How come Earth has two Stargates, and why does one of them get "priority"?


3 Answers 3


In essence one wormhole from one planet can be established. Only one address exists, one point of origin. The first one to receive the connect signal gets activated, which is why the Antarctica stargate gets the signal and the SGC gate does not.

Also, the Antarctic gate had a proper DHD and the SGC had a home-grown dialing computer. The ancient system must prefer its dial device over a non-standard one, and will also prefer any stargate linked to a DHD vs. a stargate without one.

Earth has two stargates, the one Ra brought with him, and the one the Atlantians (Ancients) created on earth.

Also, Earth having 2 stargates is answered here:

According to the Stargate Wiki, the gate using this symbol as the point of origin was brought by Ra from an unknown location. This gate became the gate used by the SGC. The point of origin on the gate found in Antarctica ("Solitudes", S01E17, now known as the "Beta gate") is the original Lantean-specified one.

Stargate - Earth's "point of origin" Symbol

  • 4
    The Antarctic gate being found next to the Atlantis outpost, is no coincidence either (See StarGate Atlantis Season 1 Episode 1). The ancients left the gate if they needed to travel back, the idiot Ra didn't know this and brought his gate with him. May 4, 2011 at 16:25
  • Which gate gets priority is covered in canon. Newer (Pegasus) gates get priority over older (Milky Way) gates and gates with DHDs get priority over gates without. The Antarctic gate had a damaged DHD which presumably moved it lower in the priority, sending wormholes to the functional gate. We also learn in the series that the Antarctic gate was lost, buried in the Antarctic ice. So Ra would have assumed this was a world without a gate and he transplanted one from elsewhere. Jeff's answer below covers references.
    – Thomas
    Aug 1, 2018 at 20:35

The Antarctic gate was Earth's original stargate, which was buried in the antarctic ice.

Ra brought the other, as Justin said.

Priority to a gate is driven firstly by the presence of a connected DHD - A gate with the original DHD gets priority, so long as it is valid.

It seems that the presence of ANY DHD (including homegrown versions, like the SGC's) gives a gate priority over one without a DHD, though the method of detection is unclear.

For reference, see the Episode 'Watergate', where the Russians operated their own gate program (briefly), connecting a DHD to get priority when a team was due to return. At other times, the DHD was disconnected, allowing SGC's gate priority.

  • @Himarm: According to where? I have seen all of SG-1 (and the SG-1 movies) and there's only ever been 2.
    – Jeff
    Sep 6, 2014 at 0:51
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    There were two. In 3.22 "Nemesis", SG-1 takes the Alpha Gate to escape Thor's ship before crashing it into the ocean to defeat Replicators; they replace it with the Beta Gate. The Russians recover the Alpha Gate, which appears in 4.07 "Watergate" (double-meaning to the title). In 6.02 "Redemption, Pt 2", Anubis destroys the Beta Gate; SGC leases the Alpha Gate from the Russians. In 9.19 "Crusade", we learn that the Russians signed over the gate to the US in exchange for the Korolev. This is all spelled out on Alpha Gate - Stargate Wiki.
    – T.J.L.
    Nov 4, 2015 at 14:44

Due to only one Gate being able to be opened and sending a matter stream at one time the open gate will take priority over the other. Also, the Antarctica Gate had a DHD (Dialing Device) with it. This device provides faster dialing times and priority over the gate in the SG-1 base which is jury-rigged with human computers and other tools.

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