A Kind of Alternative Magic

In which we ask, what would you do if you could change your own personal history?

A Kind of Magic! – No, that is not a non-Higgs boson, it is the Astronomy Magazine competition to win a signed copy of Brian May’s PhD thesis in astronomy.

To enter the contest, submit a short essay (200 to 500 words) that describes what you would do — what would your subject be and why? — if you could magically go back to school and earn a doctoral degree in astronomy.

How would you change the astronomy world? What research subject would entice you? Planetary science? Cosmology? Galaxy investigations? And what specifically would you take on as a line of research? (And for those of you who are Ph.D.s and want to enter, you can simply imagine what you might do if you got a second degree in a different area of research.)

The two best essays will each win a signed copy of the dissertation, A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, which was published by Springer-Verlag in 2008.

A more interesting question, dear readers, is what would you do if you could go back and take a few years off from your PhD to jam with a superstar band?

Which band, when and why?


  1. #1 JohnD
    August 2, 2012

    Obviously, Radiohead from Pablo Honey to just after OK Computer. That would have been much better than getting a BA in Physics. Maybe.

  2. #2 Eric Lund
    August 7, 2012

    In my case, it would have to be Phish: (1) they’re the only band I ever heard of before they hit the big time; (2) I was in grad school at the time; and (3) I was living in the right part of the US (northern New England) at the time.