SOPHIE Immortalized Through an Asteroid

SOPHIE Immortalized Through an Asteroid

SOPHIE will forever be amongst the stars.

One year after her passing, the International Astronomical Union's Working Group Small Body Nomenclature (WGSBN) has immortalized the groundbreaking artist with an entire asteroid previously known as RE1.

Initially discovered in 1980 by Antonín Mrkos at the Czech Republic's Klet' Observatory, the asteroid has now been renamed "Sophiexeon," according to a new statement from the IAU, which lauded SOPHIE as "an electronic music pioneer whose futuristic style changed the landscape of pop music in the early 21st century."

The news follows a fan petition asking NASA to rename TOI-1338b — a circumbinary exoplanet discovered in 2019 by Wolf Cukier — after the late artist thanks to its visual similarities to the cover art for SOPHIE's critically acclaimed debut, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides.

"I am requesting that TOI-1338 b be named in honor of SOPHIE, in honor of a great LGBT+ influence. I want her name to be remembered and her influence to continue to flourish for many years to come," Christian Arroyo wrote last February. "Her fans would love to pay homage by having her name be remembered in this way and for her influence to continue to flourish for years to come."

In response to the asteroid's renaming, Arroyo wrote in an update that while it may not be TOI-1338b, the announcement meant that the highly influential artist would still "forever be part of the cosmos."

Read the IAU's announcement here.

Photo by Jason Altaan for PAPER