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SOPHIE, ‘It’s Ok To Cry’
SOPHIE, ‘It’s Ok To Cry’Via YouTube/SOPHIE

An asteroid is named after SOPHIE in a celestial tribute to the musician

The christening of Sophiexeon follows a widespread petition to name a rare planet after the late, pioneering producer

Following the tragic announcement of SOPHIE’s death in January 2021, fans and friends flooded a petition to name a rare planet after the pioneering producer. The “circumbinary” planet TOI-1338 b was an appropriate dedication, they suggested, since its pastel-hued surface closely resembles the ethereal album art for Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.

Now, SOPHIE has finally been granted a place among the stars, though it’s not in the form of TOI-1338 b. Instead, asteroid 1980 RE1 has been given the permanent name Sophiexeon, as unveiled by the International Astronomical Union in its recent WGSBN bulletin.

“Sophie Xeon (1986–2021), known as SOPHIE, was a highly influential Scottish singer, songwriter, and producer,” reads the IAU’s announcement. “Sophie was known as an electronic music pioneer whose futuristic style changed the landscape of pop music in the early 21st century.”

The asteroid itself was originally discovered in 1980, by Antonín Mrkos at the Kleť Observatory in the Czech Republic. It’s not entirely clear why this space rock was chosen to commemorate the trailblazing musician, but fans have welcomed the news all the same.

“I was sadly not made aware of this naming until today, but we did it y’all!” writes Christian Arroyo, founder of the original petition. “Sophie has influence [sic] so many of us, and now she will forever be part of the cosmos. I thank every single one of you who signed and shared this petition.”

Attracting signatures from a total of 95,216 fans, the petition was boosted by SOPHIE collaborators Charli XCX and Caroline Polachek in February last year, who also shared tributes alongside Arca, Christine and the Queens, A. G. Cook, and many more. 

Of course, we don’t need an asteroid to remember SOPHIE’s lasting impact on both experimental and mainstream pop music. Adding to an extensive back-catalogue, a series of tracks have been released posthumously by collaborators. The artist’s family also announced plans to unearth “literally hundreds of tracks” last year.

Take a look at Sophiexeon’s orbit below, via NASA’s Small-Body Database.