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Freddie Mercury Has Asteroid Named After Him For 70th Birthday

06/09/2016 4:14 AM AEST | Updated 04/01/2017 2:41 AM AEDT
Steve Jennings via Getty Images
Freddie Mercury of Queen, 1982 Tour at the Various Locations in Oakland, California (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury, who would have turned 70 years old Monday.

The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center renamed Asteroid 17473 as “Freddiemercury” for the legendary Queen singer.

Queen guitarist Brian May, who holds a doctorate in astrophysics, recorded a video announcing the honor for an event Sunday celebrating Mercury in Switzerland. The band’s official YouTube channel also shared the address.

The asteroid was discovered in 1991, the same year that Mercury passed away. In the video, May says the celestial object is about 3.5 kilometers wide and “you have to have a pretty decent telescope to see it.”

“It’s just a dot of light,” May says. “But it’s a very special dot of light.”

May’s video also includes a brief clip of the asteroid in motion:

As several outlets have noted, it’s a fitting gift for the dynamic frontman, who famously belted out the lyric “I’m a shooting star leaping through the sky” in the song “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Here’s the band’s official music video for the tune:

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