It was in honor of what would be his 70th birthday on Sept. 5
May announced on Sept 4, a day before Mercury’s birthday, that the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center designated an astroid with the name ‘Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.’
In a statement and video published on his blog, May says the asteroid honors “Freddie’s outstanding influence in the world.” It was discovered in 1991, the same year Mercury died, is around 2 miles across and was found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute, who issued the certificate of designation, said: “Singer Freddie Mercury sang, ‘I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky’ – and now that is even more true than ever before. ”
In the video, May who has a doctorate from the Imperial College in London in astrophysics, said ‘Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury’ is “just a dot of light, but it’s a very special dot of light.”