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article imageSpace rock named after Freddie Mercury

By Tim Sandle     Sep 13, 2016 in Odd News
The late lead singer of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury, has had an asteroid name in his honor. Mercury posthumously joins fellow Queen member Brian May with a space rock naming.
Freddie Mercury once sang: “I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky.” This makes for an appropriate connection for the naming of stellar matter in memory of the singer.
This week the International Astronomical Union has renamed asteroid 1991 FM3 as (17473) Freddiemercury. Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara, 1946--1991) was a British songwriter and the lead singer for the legendary rock group Queen.
The announcement was made by Mercury’s former band member and long-time friend Dr. Brian May (who has a doctorate in astrophysics.) May made the announcement on what would have been Mercury’s 70th birthday.
At an celebratory event in Montreux, Switzerland May said: “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.”
May also added: “This announcement is to recognise Freddie’s outstanding influence in the world.” It is also fitting that the asteroid was discovered in 1991, which is the same year that Mercury died.
The asteroid is located in the asteroid belt that falls between Mars and Jupiter. The space rock is 3.4-kilometers wide, and it moves around the sun once every 3.69 years.
Through the naming of the space rock Mercury is added to an expanding list of celebrities immortalized in the solar system. Those with asteroids named after then include Louie Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, each of the Beatles (John, Paul, George and Ringo), and Brian May.
More about freddie mercury, Asteroid, Space, Stellar, Queen
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