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Queen Guitarist Brian May Co-Authors Book About Origins of Universe

Brian May traded rock 'n' roll for the big bang as he launched a book about the origins of the universe. May, who abandoned doctoral studies in astronomy to play guitar with `70s rock legends Queen, has returned to his first love as a co-author of the book "Bang! The Complete History of the Universe," which was launched Monday.

Co-written with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, presenters of the British Broadcasting Corp. astronomy program "The Sky at Night," the book recounts the formation of the universe from its origins more than 13 billion years ago and looks forward to its end, several billion years from now.

May, 59, whose guitar playing drives "We Will Rock You," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and other hits, sees similarities between his two great loves, music and astronomy.

"I think there's a sort of purity about both of them," he said recently, according to The Guardian newspaper. "Because you can immerse yourself in thoughts of the universe, or in music, and you're really abstracted. You're a million miles away from all your worries and personal problems and the dust and smoke of where you are."