Freddie Mercury has had an asteroid named after him to commemorate his 70th birthday.
The Queen frontman died from an Aids related illness in November 1991 but had he still been alive, he would have reached the landmark age on Monday (05Sep16).
To celebrate Mercury's special day, the 2016 "Freddie for a Day" party was held at the Montreux Casino on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, where his former bandmate Brian May appeared by video message to announce the stellar news.
May told the 1200 guests at the event that the International Astronomical Union has officially renamed asteroid 17473 - a 3.5km rubble ball on the other side of Mars which orbits the sun at 20km per second - "Freddiemercury".
Speaking about the asteroid, May, who is no stranger to the concept having already had an asteroid named after him, explained: "It’s like a cinder in space as many of these asteroids are. You need a pretty decent telescope to see it. It’s just a dot of light but it’s a very special dot of light and maybe one day we’ll get there."
May, who also has a PhD in astrophysics, credited Joel Parker, astronomer and director at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, for ensuring the asteroid's new moniker could be unveiled at Mercury's birthday celebrations.
“I’m honoured to have been part of getting the name officially recognised in time for Freddie’s 70th birthday,” Parker told Britain's The Guardian newspaper. “It’s wonderful that Brian May is also an astronomer, connecting the Earth-based Freddie to the cosmos-based Freddie.
"It’s not quite traveling at the speed of light. But from an Earth perspective, this certainly has made a supersonic man out of him."
Other stars to have had asteroids named after them include the Beatles, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Bruce Springsteen and author Douglas Adams.