"The alignment we’re seeing for these bipolar nebulae indicates something bizarre about star systems within the central bulge," explains Bryan Rees of the University of Manchester. "For them to line up in the way we see, the star systems that formed these nebulae would have to be rotating perpendicular to the interstellar clouds from which they formed, which is very strange."
While the properties of their progenitor stars do shape these nebulae, this new finding hints at another more mysterious factor. Along with these complex stellar characteristics are those of our Milky Way; the whole central bulge rotates around the galactic centre. This bulge may have a greater influence than previously thought over our entire galaxy — via its magnetic fields. The astronomers suggest that the orderly behaviour of the planetary nebulae
could have been caused by the presence of strong magnetic fields as the bulge formed.
Nebulae closer to home do not line up in the same orderly way, these fields would have to have been many times stronger than they are in our present-day neighborhood.
Second Image Source: [Space.com]