Brian May Astrophysics Thesis

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May was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when he joined Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to form Queen in 1970, but dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became successful.

Queen became one of Britain’s biggest music groups in the 1970s, with hits including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.” After Mercury’s 1991 death, May produced two solo albums, the latest of which, “Another World,” appeared in 1998.

May's thesis examines the Zodiacal Light, the misty diffuse cone of light seen in the West after sunset and the East before sunrise.

Though anyone can see the Zodiacal Light from a suitably dark location, it is poorly understood, and has been the subject of relatively little research.

“It was a bit nerve-racking walking into the room, but once we got going it was fascinating,” May said.

“There’s always that feeling they could ask that big question that could sink you, but luckily they didn’t.” May will be formally presented with his doctorate next May at a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The rocker was awarded his his Ph D this week by London’s Imperial College and said submitting his thesis, “Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud,” to supervisors was as nerve-racking as any stadium gig.“I’m feeling rather joyful.

I cannot tell you how much of a weight off the mind it is,” May said.


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