Discovered in 1991, the asteroid orbits between Jupiter and Mars
Freddie Mercury was honored with an asteroid named after him in celebration of what would have been his 70th birthday.
The artist died in 1991 at the age of 45 following severe bronchial pneumonia contracted as a result of HIV/AIDS, which is notorious for interfering with the immune system.
Now the International Astronomical Union happily named the asteroid in honor of the late Queen frontman.
Fellow bandmate Brian May broke the news on Sunday to fans that appeared at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland to celebrate Mercury’s birthday on September 5th.
“I’m happy to be able to announce that the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center has today designated Asteroid 17473, discovered 1991, in Freddie’s name, timed to honour his 70th Birthday.
Henceforth this object will be known as Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury. Published in the September 4th announcements of the Minor Planet Center, operating out of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory), this announcement is to recognise Freddie’s outstanding influence in the world.”
Discovered in 1991 – the same year of the artist’s passing – the asteroid routinely orbits between Jupiter and Mars.
The 69-year-old guitarist also revealed he was given an adoption certificate by the union.
He shared: “We have a nice certificate of ‘adoption’ issued by the International Astronomical Union and the Minor Planet Center, which says: This name is in honour of Freddie Mercury, with the following citation: Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara, 1946-1991) was a British songwriter, and the lead singer for the legendary rock group Queen.
His distinctive sound and large vocal range were hallmarks of his performance style, and he is regarded as one of the greatest rock singers of all time.”