The Orion Nebula is a region of the universe known to be the ideal place for the birth of new stars. Located 1,350 light-years away from Earth, the Orion Nebula is our closest star-formation region and is studied extensively by astronomers attempting to understand how stars form and evolve.

Researchers used new data gathered by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes to create an incredible new image that reveals an inner web of filaments in Orion Nebula. The image combines a total of 296 separate individual datasets.

The image was created combining a mosaic of millimeter-wavelength images, shown in red and captured by the ALMA and the IRAM telescopes. An infrared view of the region, shown in blue, was captured by the HAWK-I instrument in the ESO’s (European Space Observatory) Very Large Telescope.

“The group of bright blue-white stars at the upper-left is the Trapezium Cluster — made up of hot young stars that are only a few million years old,” the ESO said in a statement. “The wispy, fiber-like structures seen in this large image are long filaments of cold gas, only visible to telescopes working in the millimeter wavelength range.”

Despite their fiery appearance, the filaments of gas is incredibly cold — this cold gas is what helps the formation of new stars. These filaments of cold gas eventually collapse under the force of their own gravity to form a protostar — the precursor to a star.

Scientists studying these filaments, to uncover more details about their structure, managed to identify a network of 55 such filaments in the Orion Nebula. The new image is one the largest high-resolution montages representing a star-formation region.