Asteroid named after rock legend Freddie Mercury

Asteroid named after rock legend Freddie Mercury

By Benjamin Irons

“Burning through the sky”, former Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is named after an asteroid on what would have been his 70th birthday today.

Discovered in 1991, the year the singer passed, Asteroid17473 had its name attached to the singer by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre. Though, he’s not the first musician to be associated with these celestial bodies. Pioneering the well-known “moon-walk” dance, the king of pop Michael Jackson had his name tied to a crater on the moon back in 2009, and even owned a 1,200 acre plot of land on its surface too!

He’s also not the first member of the band to be assigned to the former either: astrophysicist, band mate and guitarist Brian May, who remains one of the co-founders of the annual global awareness movement ‘Asteroid Day, had his name attached to a planetoid back in 2008.

In a video announcement for the late singers induction to the asteroid index , May told:

“[Asteroid17473 FreddieMercury] is out in the main asteroid belt beyond the orbit of Mars and inside the orbit of Jupiter”

Adding:

“It’s just a dot of light but it’s a very special dot of light and maybe one day we’ll get there.”

The official citation of Mercury’s certificate of assignation also speaks highly of the iconic rock legend:

“Freddie Mercury – Farrokh Bulsara, 1946-1991 – was a distinguished British song-writer and the lead singer for the legendary rock-group, Queen. His incredible vocal range and distinctive sound and performance style made him one of the most well-known icons of rock music”

Whether he’s floating around in ecstasy, or travelling at the speed of light, it’s comforting to know his name will still be attached to rock.

 

Header art by Polish freelance illustrator, Ilustraminacje


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