Astronomical Rhapsody: Queen Guitarist's Thesis Finally Published

By Andrew Moseman | August 1, 2008 3:20 pm

brian mayBrian May: Guitar virtuoso, renowned rock star, astronomy Ph.D.

In 1970, long before Queen toured stadiums playing anthems like “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” May began his doctoral work at Imperial College London. Now, after he returned to wrap up his doctoral thesis last year, May’s research is being published as a book.

A Survey of Radical Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud might sound like a good name for a psychedelic concept album, but if you plan to pick up May’s thesis, don’t expect it to be any less dense and forbidding than a career academic’s. Its subject, the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, is a pancake-shaped cloud of dust in the solar system that exists on the same plane upon which the planets move. Sunlight reflects of the dust to create the Zodiacal light, which can be visible on the horizon at dawn and dusk.

Fortunately for May, little study has been done on the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, so his early 1970’s observations are still informative enough to merit publication. So while there may be plenty of downsides to studying something few others are interested in, at least you have the luxury of time.

Image: flcikr/Lola’s Big Adventure!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Aliens Therefrom
MORE ABOUT: solar system
  • Elissa

    I knew I should have studied the Zodiacal Dust Cloud instead of education.

  • Larian LeQuella

    I only wish he had published this during the height of Queen’s popularity. As a message and example that being intellectual isn’t all about geeks and stereotypes. Still, good for him!

  • Triss Teh

    Does he have any songs about astronomy?

  • Pingback: Modern Bedfellows: LSD Inventor Wrote to Steve Jobs, Asked for Support | Discoblog | Discover Magazine()


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