In response to the global coronavirus outbreak, we have implemented a strict visitor policy to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the whole school community. Please read our visitor policy before you visit the school.

Read Visitor Policy

Stargazing 2016

St Peter’s School is again going to be holding a Stargazing Live Party on Friday 8 January 2016 from 5.30pm onwards in the Queen Anne Dining Room and Shepherd Hall at St Olave’s School.

As last year the evening will constitute an Astronomy/Physics exhibition (including mobile planetarium), exhibitors, telescope retailers and some hands-on experiments. Anyone is able to visit the exhibition - tickets are not required for this.

This will be followed by a lecture at 7.00pm in the Memorial Hall of St Peter's School. The lecture, ‘The Birth of Solar Systems: a Turbulent Tale’, will be delivered by Professor René Oudmaijer from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds. Tickets must be ordered for the lecture.

Tickets for the lecture are free and are available on our Eventbrite page. If you have any enquiries or accessibility requirements please telephone us on 01904 527315 or email

Please either print off your ticket or display it to us on your smartphone or tablet on the evening.

Click here to view the event poster.

The Birth of Solar Systems: a Turbulent Tale

Our Solar System contains many different objects. Planets circling the Sun in orbits are all located in a plane, while much further away there is the huge Oort Cloud, a spherical structure from which comets sometimes escape and travel towards the Sun. How did the solar system come to be this way?   

In this presentation, an overview of the most recent theories and observations of star and planet formation will be explored.  In parallel, it will become clear that star formation is not a gentle and slow process one might expect. On the contrary, the birth of stars is often associated with violent and energetic phenomena and examples of the turbulent and shocking star-forming process will be provided. Finally, we will discuss whether our theory for the formation of our own Solar System also applies to the many extra-solar systems that have been discovered over the last decade. 

About the speaker

René Oudmaijer










Professor René Oudmaijer was born in the Netherlands and did his PhD research in Groningen, Netherlands. He then took up a research position at Imperial College London, and after spending several years there, he moved to the University of Leeds to continue his research and lecture physics and astronomy. His research specializes in observing the material surrounding both young and old stars alike at the highest resolutions possible. Click here for more information on René Oudmaijer.