The Mysterious Alignment of Planetary Nebula
As of Sept. 4th, Hubble astronomers have discovered an interesting surprise as they viewed over 100 planetary nebulae. They noticed that the butterfly shaped nebulae that form near the bulge of the Milky Way tend to be aligned with the plane of our galaxy. This is a surprising find seeing as how many of these nebulae have varying degrees of history and properties.
It’s currently thought that the huge bulge that rotates around the galactic center has a large role in the outcome of how these planetary nebulae expel their outer layer. The magnetic fields of this rotating bulge may have a larger role in our galaxy than we previously thought. This is the larger part of the puzzle. The star system’s orientation before it turned into a red giant and if the star is part of a binary pair are also contributing factors to the direction the gaseous cloud erupts from the star.
The interesting aspect of this is that if the magnetic influence of the central rotating bulge has this type of affect on stars than it also has a surprising authority for the rest of the galaxy as well.