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I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky! sang Freddie Mercury in “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and now it’s really true.

Fellow band member Brian May announced yesterday (September 5) that an asteroid had been named in honor of the Queen frontman on what would have been his 70th birthday.

In a video originally played in front of 1,250 fans in Switzerland, he explained that Asteroid 17473, a two-mile-wide ball of black rubble that was discovered on the other side of Mars in 1991, the year Freddie died, would now be known Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.

The Minor Planet Center, the body responsible for naming minor astronomical objects such as asteroids and comets, confirmed the new name with a specially issued certificate.

The asteroid can’t be seen with the naked eye, but, as Brian explains, a special telescope would pick up a “dot of light,” albeit a “very special dot of light.”

And he should know. As well as continuing to perform with his Queen colleague drummer Roger Taylor and singer Adam Lambert, he is also now Dr. Brian May, having completed a PhD in Astrophysics at London’s Imperial College.

The asteroid naming follows a weekend of commemorations of the singer in London, also hosted by Brian May, which included the unveiling of a blue plaque on Freddie’s childhood home in Feltham, West London.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.