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Freddie Mercury Gets Asteroid Named After Him to Mark 70th Birthday

Cue ‘Flash Gordon’ theme

This actually makes more sense when you think about it: They’ve named an asteroid after Queen frontman Freddie Mercury on what would have been his 70th birthday.

Why an asteroid for a guy named after a planet? Well. CNN explains that the naming was announced by Queen guitarist — and astrophysicist, does it make sense now? — Brian May at an event in Switzerland Monday.

“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,” May said, according to CNN.

The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center renamed an asteroid previously named Asteroid 17473. It was discovered in 1991, the year Mercury died of bronchial pneumonia caused by AIDS.

“Even if you can’t see Freddiemercury leaping through the sky, you can be sure he’s there — ‘floating around in ecstasy,’ as he might sing, for millennia to come,” said Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute, who issued the Certified of Designation. He was quoting the song “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Freddiemercury will be floating around in ecstasy between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter — not Mercury, because that would be too obvious. Look out for Ming the Merciless, Freddie.