An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to mark what would have been the singer’ - From The Telegraph
The Queen frontman who sang of ‘leaping through the sky’ like a shooting star in the hit Don’t Stop Me Now will have his name attached to Asteroid17473, which was discovered in 1991, the year of his death.
Brian May , the Queen guitarist and astrophysicist announced the honour during a party in Switzerland to remember the singer last night.
“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,” said May.
“It’s a dark object – rather like a cinder in space.
Viewed from the Earth it is more than 10,000 times fainter than you can see by eye, so you need a fair-sized telescope to see it and that’s why it wasn’t discovered until 1991.” The International Astronomical Union said that Mercury was given the honour because of 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.’ Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute, who worked on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Mission, and applied for the honour said: “ The name approved by the IAU is the formal and official name forever to be associated with this asteroid; so, any scientific papers in the future that study this asteroid will refer to it as ‘17473 Freddiemercury’ Mercury's birth name was Farrokh Bulsara but he legally changed his name to Freddie Mercury around 1970, when Queen was formed.