Frank H. Shu, a University of California, San Diego astrophysicist, was today awarded the Shaw Prize for a career-long effort to explain how stars, planetary systems and galaxies form. The $1 million prize, awarded in Hong Kong, is known as the “Nobel Prize of the East.”

Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Shu developed the now dominant theory of how a star is born and evolves from the collapse of a cloud of molecules, as well as a groundbreaking theory on the origin of comets.

UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said in a university news release that the award was “a validation of the tremendous impact that Frank has had on advancing the field of astronomy.”

DAVID WASHBURN

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