A dark asteroid with a slightly wobbly orbit over half a billion kilometres away has been named “Freddiemercury” from now onwards. It’s previous title had been “Asteroid 17473”, and the new plates come just in time for the celebration of what would have been Mercury’s 70th birthday.
Freddie Mercury has gone cosmic supersonic with yesterdays news; the star has just had an asteroid named after him thanks to former band member and astrophysicist Brian May.
Freddiemercury (the asteroid) is a 3.5km wide, rocky collection which orbits the sun at 20kms per second. Due to it’s dark colour it reflects almost all light that touches it, so only owners of very advanced telescopes will be able to catch a glimpse.
For now, feel reassured that he is still out there, shooting across the cosmos somewhere near Mars.
The asteroid was discovered in 1991 by astronomer Henry Debehogne, and the catalyst for it’s new name has largely been former Queen guitarist Brian May, who also has a P.H.D. in astrophysics and is a contributing member of the International Astronomy Union.
Thanks to May, the asteroid was able to be named in time for this milestone in Mercury’s life, which was tragically cut short as we all know.
Say g’day to David Bowie for us, Freddie.
Via The Guardian.