Key Words: Asteroid named in honor of late Queen singer Freddie Mercury

‘It’s just a dot of light, but it’s a very special dot of light.’

Brian May, Queen

That’s Brian May of the iconic 1970s rock band Queen describing the asteroid named this week in honor of his band mate Freddie Mercury.

And May knows whereof he speaks, having made a second career as an astrophysicist.

The asteroid was discovered in 1991, the year Mercury (né Farrokh Bulsara) died of complications from AIDS, and was dedicated to him on the occasion of what would have been his 70th birthday.

The body’s official designation is Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury.

Ian Dickson/Redferns/Getty Images

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