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Brian May, shown performing in Las Vegas in May 2006, is near to finishing his doctorate in astrophysics. ((Jae C. Hong/Associated Press))

Queen guitarist and songwriter Brian May, who gave up studying the stars to become one, will soon complete his doctorate in astrophysics.

May, 60, will submit a thesis titled Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud next week at Imperial College London.

May joined with Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to help form the rockgroup Queen in 1969.

The group became an international success with hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You and May left his doctorate unfinished.

After Mercury's death in 1991, May recorded several solo albums, including 1998's Another World.

He continued his interest in astrophysics and co-wrote Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, which was published last year.

May has also appeared on the BBC program The Sky at Night with Patrick Moore.

Now he's ready to complete hisdoctorate.

"I didn't want an honorary PhD. I wanted the real thing that I worked for," he told the BBC.

To gain his doctorate he has studied the night skies at an observatory on the island of La Palma, in Spain's Canary Islands.

With files from the Associated Press