|Discovered by||H. Debehogne|
|Discovery site||La Silla Obs.|
|Discovery date||21 March 1991|
|1991 FM3 · 1982 VC9|
|main-belt · (inner)|
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 0|
|Observation arc||34.48 yr (12,593 days)|
|3.70 yr (1,350 days)|
|0° 16m 0.12s / day|
17473 Freddiemercury, provisional designation 1991 FM3, is a stony Massalian asteroid from the inner regions asteroid belt, approximately 3.4 kilometers in diameter. The asteroid was discovered on 21 March 1991, by Belgian astronomer Henri Debehogne at ESO's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile, and later named in memory of Freddie Mercury.
Freddiemercury is a member of the Massalia family (404), a large family of stony S-type asteroids with low inclinations in the inner main belt. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.0–2.8 AU once every 3 years and 8 months (1,350 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.16 and an inclination of 1° with respect to the ecliptic.
According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Freddiemercury measures 3.4 kilometers in diameter and its surface has a high albedo of 0.313.
On 4 September 2016, one day before what would have been Freddie Mercury's 70th birthday, the International Astronomical Union and the Minor Planet Center named the asteroid after Mercury, as it was discovered the same year as Mercury's death, (M.P.C. 101215) and its provisional designation included his initials, FM. The approved naming was announced by Mercury's Queen bandmate Brian May at Montreux Casino to mark Mercury's 70th birthday.