Editor's note: this image was sent to me by someone at NASA and is circulating around the agency. I do not know its origin other than the fact that it was taken by someone in France. Stunning, oui? More below.
Update: One reader suggests that the image sent to me by NASA was taken by Thierry Legault whose website is at http://www.astrophoto.fr/. I cannot find this image on his website however - but it does indeed look like one of the incredible images he has taken.
Further Update: I am now told by yet another person at NASA that Thierry Legault is indeed the photographer and a credit has been added to that effect.