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An asteroid near Mars has been named after Freddie Mercury

(Photo: Getty Images, Paul Natkin)

Suggesting that the iconic Queen frontman didn’t so much die back in 1991 as achieve his true form, The Guardian is reporting that an asteroid has now been formally identified as none other than Freddie Mercury—or it’s been named after him, at least, which is more accurate but a little less exciting. Queen’s Brian May, who already has an asteroid and a PhD in astrophysics, announced the news over the weekend in a video message at a big Freddie Mercury party in Switzerland celebrating what would’ve been Mercury’s 70th birthday. The asteroid was previously known as “asteroid 17473,” and it’s apparently a “3.5km-wide ball of black rubble on the other side of Mars” that was first discovered in 1991, which conveniently lines up with our theory about it really being Mercury’s new, cosmic form.

The asteroid now called “Freddiemercury” supposedly poses “no imminent danger” to the Earth and “you need a pretty decent telescope to see it,” but having a lesser space thing named after you is still a bigger honor than having nothing in space named after you. Also, while a story like this may seem to be the perfect opportunity to bust out a bunch of Queen references, an astronomer named Joel Parker who was instrumental in making this naming happen kind of spoiled that fun by already explaining that the asteroid named after Mercury is “not quite traveling at the speed of light,” but that “from an Earth perspective, this certainly has made a supersonic man out of him.”


There’s no word on if this thing is a sex machine ready to reload or an atom bomb about to explode, though.

[via Pitchfork]

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