- The name Altair comes from the Arabic al-nasr al-ṭāʾir (النسر الطائر), meaning "the eagle (or vulture) in flight".
- In Chinese, it is named "Niu Lang" (牛郎), in Japanese, "Hikoboshi" (星 星). In Japan as in China, Altair is mentioned in the legend of The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd.
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