WATCH: Asteroid named after Freddie Mercury to mark his 70th birthday

Mercury is regarded as one of the greatest rock singers

WATCH: Asteroid named after Freddie Mercury to mark his 70th birthday

Queen singer Freddie Mercury in concert in Cologne in 1986 | Image: MARCO ARNDT / AP/Press Association Images

An asteroid has been named after British singer Freddie Mercury to mark what would have been his 70th birthday.

The Minor Planet Centre at the International Astronomical Union, based in the US, made the announcement.

Asteroid 17473, now to be called 'Freddiemercury', was discovered back in 1991 - the year Mercury died.

Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in 1946.

He was a singer-songwriter and lead singer for the legendary rock group 'Queen'.

His distinctive sound and large vocal range were hallmarks of his performance style, and he is regarded as one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

His latest greatest hits album, 'Messenger Of The Gods - The Singles', was released on September 2nd.

Asteroid 'Freddiemercury' is a 3.5km-wide ball of black rubble on the other side of Mars.

Asteroid Freddiemercury (circled) leaping through the sky like a tiger

There have been a total of 1,114 observations of the phenomenon.

The band's guitarist Brian May announced the honour at a ceremony last night.