When I first saw this, I figured it was a Hubble image from space but it is actually the work of a dedicated amateur working from Iowa here on planet Earth! He uses a Canon 40D and some other specialist equipment (including presumably a powerful telescope and various filters) to produce these stunning pictures. This one is a composite:
11 images stacked in PS CS3. Image exposures from 4min – 8minutes. Selective Masking in PS CS3 to avoid overexposure.
Beautiful stuff – the mind boggles at the ingenuity of some people.