HD 44179 (Red Rectangle Nebula)

Location:  Constellation Monoceros
Coordinates:  06 19 58.22 -10 38 14.70
Distance: ~2,000 ly

Mainstream description
A dying binary star system pumps out gas and other material to make the nebula and build its distinctive shape. The close binary system is surrounded by a dense torus of dust which may help explain its shape. But it is unknown how the central pair of stars generates the surrounding nebulosity.  One theory is that precessing jets of material are somehow part of the process though no sign of jets has been found.

Alternative description
A stellar-scale plasma discharge forming waves of highly energized particles in very distinct and symmetrical patterns.  Electrically charged plasma accelerates away from the point of discharge with large periodic concentrations forming bright bands that radiate away from the central bright arc.  The periodicity of these plasma concentrations are oscillations caused by resonant effects present in electric circuits.  The rectangular crossed pattern of the nebula is caused by the angle at which two interstellar plasma currents connected and are discharging their energy load.

HD 44179 (Red Rectangle Nebula)Shannon Sims