I always loved making space scenes in After Effects.
This time i thought why not use actual image of nebula and add stars and some details...
Then i saw a tutorial from Peder Norby and i got a great tip from the tutorial about using wisps as clusters. It worked great. I also used Fractal Noise distributed in Z space so you could really feel the depth.
Particular was used for stars and optical flares for the shiny ones.
Watch in HD in full screen and enjoy the ride!