Bob Berman's Strange Universe: Betelgeuse: the next banana split?
February 2009: Surrounded by a shell of potassium gas, this red supergiant could explode soon.
To correctly pronounce Orion's famous shoulder star, "bet" on Betelgeuse. But most Americans instead call it "beetle juice," like the 1988 Michael Keaton film. Either way, it's on the "top 10" list of the most beloved bright stars. It's also one of the few visible from every country in the world. Only the several dozen brave maniacs permanently living at the South Pole never see it.