Far-away asteroid named after Freddie Mercury on birthday

September 5, 2016

Gill Allen/AP File Photo
Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen performs at a concert in Sydney, Australia, in 1985. Queen guitarist Brian May says an asteroid in Jupiter's orbit has been named after Mercury on what would have been his 70th birthday Monday.

LONDON — Queen guitarist Brian May says an asteroid in Jupiter's orbit has been named after the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury on what would have been his 70th birthday.

 

May says the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre has designated an asteroid discovered in 1991, the year of Mercury's death, as "Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury."

 

May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics from Imperial College, London, says the newly named asteroid is "just a dot of light, but it's a very special dot of light" and recognizes Mercury's musical and performing talents.

 

Mercury, born Sept. 5, 1946, wrote and performed hits including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are The Champions" with Queen, releasing over a dozen studio albums between 1973 and 1991.

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