Brian May Asteroid Day

On June 30, 1908 an asteroid exploded over Tunguska, Siberia releasing energy of 100 tons TNT – the force flattened 800 square miles of Russian wilderness. Last year astrophysicist Dr. Brian May, Apollo 9 astronaut Ricky Schweickart and astronaut Dr. Ed Lu co-founded Asteroid Day to coincide with the anniversary of the Tunguska event. June 30, 2016 was the second official Asteroid Day.

Hold onto your hat – astrophysicist Dr. Brian May is Brian May, guitarist and songwriter for rock band Queen (he wrote We Will Rock You ). Brian May, ranked 26th of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2011, is an astrophysicist.

With a degree in physics from Imperial College London, 1974 found May working on his thesis ( the study of reflected light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in our solar system ). Academic pursuits ended with the rise of Queen’s star. Over 40 years and honorary degrees from Hertfordshire, Exeter and Liverpool John Moore universities later, May buckled down. Submitting an updated thesis “Motions of Interplanetary Dust” to Imperial College – Brian May earned his PHD in 2007.

Dr. Brian May

From a 2015 interview with the Guardian –

“The aim is to ramp up public awareness and the awareness of governments to the fact that we are under threat from a meteor strike,” May told me during a visit, “It’s been made light of, and we’ve seen some great films, like Bruce Willis saving the day, but it is a very serious threat.”

A key aim of Asteroid Day is to lobby for a 100-fold increase in the detection rate of Near Earth Objects.

“This is a catastrophe that could be averted,” he said.

I leave you with “We Will Rock You – Asteroid Day”

Dr Brian May

9 thoughts on “Brian May Asteroid Day

  1. I know he has a PhD, but something about Brian May makes me want to slap him. To add to the heresy, I was never a big fan of Queen either, though I did have their first album back in 1974.

    • Honestly, I never gave May much thought until discovering his PHD in astrophysics. Being a space nut, it tickled my fancy. As for Queen – Pacific Colosseum Vancouver 1976, Night At The Opera tour, front row, Freddie Mercury in my face – curled my toes!

  2. Just because you play an instrument doesn’t make you an idiot? Well I’ll be doggone….
    Why is it that it’s so hard to see people as being multi-dimensional? It’s so much easier to see them as a “something” — and not as rounded out people.

    The whole thing about adopting ‘expectations’ about people only to find out later that they never were you you pigeon-holed them to be. Luv it!

    • In my mind music and mathematics are natural extensions of each other.Hindsight screams “it makes perfect sense” Still – as a life long Queen fan (who never gave Brian May much thought) and admitted space nut, this tidbit made my day. 🙂

  3. I knew of his academic background years ago, but was also surprised when I found out. A very intelligent bloke.
    I saw Queen at the Sun City Superbowl in Bophuthatswana (South Africa) . Was a superb concert, especially when May stepped into the spotlight and played Brighton Rock. Blew me away.

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