The yellow sliver and red spot above it make up the DR21 ridge, a huge structure within the extremely active, star-forming region called Cygnus X. The region sits at a distance of about 4,500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, or the Swan.
A combination of three maps by the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory created the image, published in July in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Reddish colors show the finely detailed structures of the cold interstellar material, which converges as filaments toward the main ridge. The white areas show young, new stars, including several high-mass stars.
Overall, the new picture suggests the convergence of filaments is a way nature forms massive star clusters with high-mass stars.
(See another picture of the turbulent Cygnus constellation.)