Musician John Deacon and Freddie Mercury (C)(1946 - 1991) of British rock band Queen in concert, 1980.
Michael Montfort—Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
September 5, 2016 11:51 AM EDT

An asteroid has been named after the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury in honor of what would be his 70th birthday, said the band’s guitarist Brian May.

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.”


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