NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brian May, the lead guitarist from rock band Queen, is close to earning his doctorate in astrophysics -- more than 35 years after quitting his studies to become a rock star.
May arrived on the island of La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands several days ago to conduct astronomical observations in support of his thesis, according to a statement by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands.
His thesis, “Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud,” is the last component of his PhD studies, and May expected to complete his work on Wednesday.
“Maybe you’d like to see the Telescope we are working in,” May, 60, wrote on his Web site on Wednesday.
“Galileo ... Galileo ... how full of coincidences life is,” he added, referring to the lyrics in Queen’s hit song “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
After submitting his thesis at Imperial College, London, he will have to wait until university assessors approve his work to be granted his PhD next year.
May was studying astrophysics at Imperial College when he formed Queen with singer Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor in 1970. He dropped his doctorate research into interstellar dust as the band met with increasing success.
After Mercury’s AIDS-related death in 1991, May recorded several solo albums and set up the Brian May Band.
But his interest in astronomy continued, and he co-wrote “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe” with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, which was published last year.
Earlier this month, the writer of such Queen hits as “We Will Rock You” and “Fat Bottomed Girls” was granted an honorary doctorate from Exeter University in Devon, England.