Arcturus (Alpha Boötis) is the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, and the third brightest star in the night sky, after Sirius and Canopus.  An easy way to find Arcturus is to follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper or Plough. By continuing in this path, one can find Spica as well — hence the maxim, "Arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica.". It is located 36.7 light years from Earth.

The Arcturians in Star Trek appeared to have had an appreciation for Shakespeare. In the episode "The Conscience of the King" from the original series,  a popular version of Macbeth was re-envisioned by the Arcturians and was performed by the Karidian Company of Players, a touring theatrical troupe, as part of the Galactic Cultural Exchange Project . In the Star Trek: The Next Generation, a popular beverage on Arcturus IV was the Arcturian fizz.

Arcturus is also part of a stellar stream known as the Arcturus Stream. A stellar stream is a long thin filament of stars created when stars from one galaxy get pulled from their home galaxy by another. The Arcturus stream is not in the plane of the Milky Way galaxy and is likely the remnants of an ancient dwarf satellite galaxy, long since devoured by and assimilated into the Milky Way.