Glyphs are symbols on Stargates which chevrons lock onto when a Stargate is being dialled. The basis for glyphs on the Pegasus and Milky Way gates are constellations. Constellations are the names given to a group of stars linked close together. Oftentimes, constellations represent some sort of pictograph. There are several differences between Milky Way, Pegasus, and Destiny-style glyphs. The symbols on the Dial Home Device represent constellations, destinations used to link Stargates together are represented by constellations to form Addresses. (Stargate) (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
A Milky Way Stargate has 39 inscribed symbols on the inner ring. When dialling, this inner ring rotates until the dialled symbol is aligned with the seventh chevron, at which point the ring pauses, the seventh chevron moves down and up, and the appropriate chevron in the sequence engages and glows red.
With 38 symbols, the Stargate network in the Milky Way has
- 38×37×36×35×34×33 = 1,987,690,320 possible addresses.
8-symbol addresses will yield
- 38×37×36×35×34×33×32 = 63,606,090,240 possible addresses.
For a seven chevron address, each symbol must be unique as it is referencing a point in space; however, for an eight chevron address it is possible that the Stargate (by recognising the entry of eight chevrons) allows the reuse of a glyph within an address - perhaps each having a different meaning, such as galaxy 'area codes' - which increases the possible number of addresses:
- 38×37×36×35×34×33×38 = 75,532,232,160 possible addresses.
However, not all points in space represented by these addresses have Stargates; in deed, there are sufficiently few valid coordinate sets that randomly dialling the Stargate is largely futile. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
Because the gate on Earth was found without a DHD, the Stargate team on Earth developed a dialing computer to interface with the gate in order to power it and dial it by the use of computers (essentially an automated version of manual dialling). When using a DHD, however, each chevron is activated immediately upon entry of the symbols, without the inner ring spinning. This allows for a much swifter dialling process. (SG1: "Stargate", "Children of the Gods")
Milky Way glyphs
|1||Point of origin (Giza)||14||Microscopium||27||Taurus|
As found out by the Atlantis expedition, the Ancients seeded planets throughout the Pegasus galaxy with Stargates too, but used gates of a slightly different, more advanced design, although the differences appear mostly cosmetic. Pegasus Stargates are designed with blue chevron lamps instead of orange, and the address symbols are groups of small blue lamps (rather than embossed figures) that light up sequentially instead of rotating. This also makes a manual dial impossible as manually dialling a Stargate requires the dialing ring to be rotated. When Atlantis moved from Lantea, the gate appeared to have changed glyphs dynamically, based on it's current location, instead of having fixed symbols like the Milky Way galaxy has. This makes it possible for the gate to be used with ease in other galaxies as well.
Unlike the Milky Way gates, Pegasus gates are depicted with 36 symbols. 7 symbols are still required to dial an interplanetary address, cliving to the same constraints as a Milky Way gate. With 36 symbols, the Stargate Network in the Pegasus galaxy has
- 35×34×33×32×31×30 = 1,168,675,200 possible addresses.
8-symbol addresses will yield
- 35×34×33×32×31×30×29 = 33,891,580,800 possible addresses.
|5||Laylox||18||Subido (point of origin for Atlantis)||31||Sibbron|
Destiny's Stargate bears 36 symbols like Pegasus Stargates and the whole Gate spins to dial an address. When dialling, the symbols light up to indicate they have been encoded. Destiny also contains a Gate bearing which lights up as each glyph locks; however planetary Gates do not share this trait.
The glyphs are not of constellations as with Milky Way and Pegasus Gates since the gate must be able to dial addresses from a moving point of origin in many different galaxies, but rather are some mathematical or conceptual representation yet to be discovered by the people aboard. The Stargates seeded throughout the galaxies Destiny has visited also use this type of address. It may also be possible that each 2nd and 3rd generation Stargate built by the Ancients were programmed to have 9-glyph addresses, in order to be compatible with 1st generation gates. It may also be possible that every gate has it's own unique 9-glyph address. It is unknown whether using a 9-glyph address requires the last glyph to be a point of origin, as Destiny is constantly moving as has no point of origin, meanwhile Icarus dialed destiny using the point of origin as the last glyph.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 These glyphs are unique to the Alpha Gate and the Stargate installed in Atlantis, respectively. Other Stargates throughout Milky Way and Pegasus have different point of origin symbols, matching their respective DHDs.
- ↑ Pegasus glyph constellation names on Joseph Mallozzi blog post 3/26/13
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 While the glyph "Earth" is clearly depicted on screen and in Joseph Mallozzi's blog post, the blog post fails to designate its numerical position, and thus its numerical position is unknown. As it is not a point of origin symbol, it is native to all Stargates in the Pegasus galaxy. However, as Pegasus Stargates contain only 36 glyphs, Atlantis' Pegasus DHD contains 36 glyphs, and regular Pegasus DHDs ostensibly contain 38 glyphs (though this may just be an issue of reusing the Milky-Way DHD prop) it is unknown how this glyph is capable of appearing on Pegasus Stargates as the gates themselves would have insufficient space to accommodate a 39th (let alone 37 and 38th) glyph. It is possible, though unlikely, that "Earth" is position 14 or 33, since they're labeled "Unknown Constellation" and not "Earth". It is also possible that "Earth" is in fact "Baselai" - Joseph Mallozzi's blog post lists Baselai and yet shown no glyph for it on Atlantis' DHD, which is similar to how the blog post shows Atlantis' DHD containing "Earth" and yet fails to include it in the list. It is also possible that this may all be the result of a series of production errors.
Speculating that "Baselai" is in fact "Earth", this reduces the number of glyphs on a Pegasus Stargate to 38. This number includes the two "Unknown glyphs". Furthermore, lets assume that the reason regular Pegasus DHDs have 38 is simply an issue of re-using the Milky-Way prop and that they're canonically suppose to have 36. Considering that the source Stargate Wiki uses for the Pegasus glyphs was created by the producers for use in making the show (and not a deliberately created reference-guide for the fans) it is possible then that the two "unknown glyphs" only exist as a way to for the producers to account for the 2 extra spaces on the DHD and that no analogous spaces actually exist on the Stargates themselves.
It is also possible that the Ancients purposely left two spaces open on Pegasus DHDs (totaling 38 spaces) but only included 36 spaces on the Stargates themselves, for whatever reason.
Behind the Scenes
The look of the constellations changes even within a few thousand years. This is due to stellar drift. So the constellations must have looked very different from what we see now at about 50 million years ago when the Ancients built the stargates . They couldn't see the constellations as we do now. One of few explanations for this is that the Ancients made the stargates to serve for millions of years to come so they calculated how the constellations would change, but this is a weak explanation for this. Another theory that may explain this is that 2nd generation Stargates (Earth-style) are like 3rd generation ones: When Atlantis moved from Lantea, the gate appeared to have changed glyphs dynamically, based on it's current location. This however, would invalidate the purpose of designing a third generation of Stargates. It may also be possible that the Ancients left behind a race to manually change the glyphs on Stargates every few hundred years; this, however, is a very weak theory.
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Stargate (device). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with SGCommand, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|