Asteroid Named After Bisexual Icon Freddie Mercury

FreddieMercurySinging1977To mark what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday, an asteroid discovered in 1991, the year he died, has been renamed in his honour. Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury is around 3.5km in diameter and is a part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, who also has an asteroid named for him, said,  “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.”

The application to change the name of the asteroid was made by Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute. He said, “Even if you can’t see Freddiemercury leaping through the sky, you can be sure he’s there.”

This week English Heritage also honoured the singer with a blue plaque at his modest childhood  home in Feltham, North London.

 

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Libby Baxter-Williams

Libby is a 30-something Londoner, who spends more time reading picture books than is seemly. She became a bi activist entirely by accident, but now she can't imagine living any other way. In the event of an emergency, she'll have a large gin and tonic, thanks.

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