Giant Magnetized Outflows from the Centre of the Milky Way
The nucleus of the Milky Way is known to harbour regions of intense star formation activity as well as a super-massive black hole. Recent Fermi space telescope observations have revealed regions of γ-ray emission reaching far above and below the Galactic Centre, the so-called Fermi bubbles. It is uncertain whether these were generated by nuclear star formation or by quasar-like outbursts of the central black hole and no information on the structures' magnetic field has been reported. Here we report on the detection of two giant, linearly-polarized radio Lobes, containing three ridge-like sub-structures, emanating from the Galactic Centre. The Lobes each extend ~60 deg, bear a close correspondence to the Fermi bubbles, are located in the Galactic bulge, and are permeated by strong magnetic fields of up to 15 μ G. Our data signal that the radio Lobes originate in a bi-conical, star-formation (rather than black hole) driven outflow from the Galaxy's central 200 pc that transports a massive magnetic energy of ~10^55 erg into the Galactic halo. The ridges wind around this outflow and, we suggest, constitute a `phonographic' record of nuclear star formation activity over at least 10 Myr.