Brian May, the guitarist from Queen, announced some astronomically huge news via the band's official YouTube channel. In honor of late singer and front man of the band, Freddie Mercury, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center has renamed Asteroid 17473 to Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury (one word, not a typo).
The special honor took place on September 5, which would have been Mercury's 70th birthday. The asteroid was discovered in the same year as the "We Are The Champions" singer died in 1991.
According to Brian May, the honor marks "Freddie's outstanding influence in the world." He referred to the asteroid as a "cinder in space" because it does not reflect much light; however, "It’s just a dot of light, but it’s a very special dot of light."
"It's a dark object - rather like a cinder in space. Viewed from the Earth it is more than 10,000 times fainter than you can see by eye, so you need a fair-sized telescope to see it and that's why it wasn't discovered until 1991," May explained.
In the brief video announcing the news, make sure to watch until the end. There is a short clip showing "Asteroid Freddiemercury" that looks like "a shooting star leaping through the sky." Check out the video above to watch Brian May's announcement about the asteroid.
While Freddie Mercury may no longer be here with us on Earth, his memory will live on not only through his timeless music, but also with this asteroid that will be "burnin’ through the sky" and "floating around in ecstasy" for a very long time out in space.