An international group of astronomers discovered a new galaxy in June 2015 and named it Cosmos Redshift 7 (CR7) after Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The soccer star isn't the only athlete to have a connection with space. Here's a look at some others who share a name with a celestial body or have had one named after them. CR7, by the way, is “an exceptionally rare object, by far the brightest galaxy ever observed at this stage in the Universe,” the European Southern Observatory said in a press release introducing the galaxy. Sort of like Ronaldo, rare and bright.
2 of 14Bob Martin for Sports Illustrated
Overshadowed by the greatest-of-all-time debate is the fact that the tennis star had a main belt asteroid named after him by Swiss astronomer Michel Ory, who on Jan. 10, 2005, discovered what is known as 230975 Rogerfederer.
3 of 14Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
The main belt asteroid 85386 Payton was discovered on July 26, 1996, at the Haleakala Observatory on the island of Maui. Could it possibly be nearly as unique as the NFL Hall of Fame running back was?
4 of 14Hans Deryk/AP
The Dominator was so impressive in leading the Czech Republic to an Olympic gold medal in Nagano in 1998 that a pair of astronomers named a main belt asteroid after him in 2003 -- 8217 Dominikhašek. The Czechs defeated Russia 1-0 in the final and Canada 2-1 in a semifinal that saw Hasek stop all five penalty shots in a sudden death overtime shootout.
5 of 14Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
Who knew that when Linsanity was on its meteoric rise that a main belt asteroid discovered in March 2009 would come to be known as 316020 Linshuhow, in honor of the kid born in Torrance, Calif., as Jeremy Shu-How Lin.
6 of 14AP
The famous voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a sportscaster who helped the Terrible Towel become famous, Myron Cope had an asteroid named in his honor in 2008 -- 7835 Myroncope.
7 of 14Heinz Kluetmeier for Sports Illustrated
The main Belt asteroid 12413 Johnnyweir was discovered on Sept. 26, 1995 at the Engelhardt Observatory. We doubt that the asteroid is nearly as colorful as the three-time U.S. national champion figure skater.
8 of 14John Durant Files/SI
One of the greatest athletes of all time, Lou Gehrig had 5891 Gehrig named in his honor after its discovery in 1981.
9 of 14AP
Jesse Owens struck a monumental victory at the 1936 Berlin Olympics for both himself and his country when he took the gold medal in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump, besting Nazi Germany competitors on their home soil. Forty-four years later the asteroid that would come to be known as 6758 Jesseowens was discovered.
10 of 14Bob Martin for Sports Illustrated
128036 Rafaelnadal is a main belt asteroid discovered on May 28, 2003, from an observatory in Mallorca, Spain, and named after the Majorca-born tennis great. Wouldn't it be fitting if the asteroid had even a tinge of clay.
11 of 14 John W. McDonough for Sports Illustrated
NFL talent evaluators weren't over the moon with Warren as he went undrafted coming out of the University of Washington in 1978, but he shone brightly enough in six Canadian Football League seasons that he ended up playing for four NFL teams in a Hall of Fame career.
12 of 14Antoine Couvercelle/Tennis Magazine/Icon
We've yet to find a standout athlete named either Earth, Pluto, Saturn or, God forbid, Uranus, but planet Venus has a one-of-a-kind namesake in tennis great Venus Williams.
13 of 14Neil Leifer for Sports Illustrated
The planet and the former NFL running back can trace the root of their name to the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger to the gods. As fleet-footed as they come, No. 22 played in three Super Bowls and won two while with the Miami Dolphins.
14 of 14Bob Martin for Sports Illustrated
The first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming, Sun Yang outshone the competition at the 2012 London Games by joining Michael Phelps as the only male swimmers to win two individual titles. His were in the 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle.
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