Added on 23-Aug-2007
Queen guitarist Brian May was on Thursday awarded a doctorate, more than 30 years after he first began studying a highly specialised area of astronomy.May first started his thesis — titled, "Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud" — at Imperial College London in 1974, but abandoned it when Queen's prospects began to brighten.
He finally dusted off his notes last year and handed in his 48,000-word doctoral thesis about three weeks ago to Imperial's head of astrophysics Professor Paul Nandra.
"I'm feeling rather joyful. I cannot tell you how much of a weight off the mind it is," May said after his assessors approved of his thesis and he passed an oral exam.
"What matters is that this stands up in the future and that there are no holes in it."
He plans to celebrate his new title — he will now become Dr Brian May — by having a private meal with friends and family but will not be presented with his qualification until a ceremony at London's Royal Albert Hall next May.
The guitarist, who famously played the national anthem on the top of Buckingham Palace at a party for Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee celebrations, has not completely neglected astronomy during his musical career.
He recently co-wrote a children's science book with astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, and last month received an honorary doctorate at Exeter University in southwest England.