Freddie Mercury, the greatest lead man in rock and roll history (that’s just science), sadly passed away in 1991. While his name and memory has lived on here on Earth, they will—quite fittingly—begin “burnin’ through the sky” and “floating around in ecstasy” for a long, long time out in space now that an asteroid has been renamed in honor of the late singer.
We learned about this very cool tribute at Vulture, where they shared a video from Queen‘s Brian May on the band’s official YouTube channel announcing the renamed asteroid. The honor took place on September 5, which would have been Mercury’s 70th birthday.
The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center has now officially dubbed “Asteroid 17473” as “Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury” (one word, not a typo). It was first discovered the same year Mercury left us, 1991, and it rests in the “Main Asteroid Belt” between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
May says you need a “pretty decent telescope to see” the asteroid, which he called a “cinder in space” because it doesn’t reflect much light. However, although it may be “just a dot of light,” as he points out, it is now “a very special dot of light.”
Make sure you stick around until the end of the video (even after it appears like it is over), because there is a very small clip showing “Asteroid Freddiemercury” resembling “a shooting star leaping through the sky.” It’s the spot right above the bigger circle in the center of this picture.
What’s your favorite Queen song? Which one would you play if you were riding that asteroid through space? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured Image: Queen Official/YouTube
Images: Queen Official/YouTube