It is indeed a true miracle, @cave-man, standing under it and feeling it with your whole body and mind... :) I forgot my vocabulary the first time I saw it :D
The tripod is, I would say, obligatory. It is dark as it's obviously happening at night, and the photos you see in my post, the shutter speed is between 2 and 8 seconds. You shoot at ISO between 800 and 1600, sometimes even 3200/6400. And I could hardly imagine anyone's hands not shaking for 2-8 seconds :D
It is a balance, to be honest. If you go with higher ISO values, you catch more stars and lights in your photos but the quality radically drops. I would say, the optimal value with the current DSLR or mirrorless cameras is about 1600, based on my experience.
I was blessed one more time to see the glorious Aurora Borealis, in Iceland, in August, quite unexpectedly :) I will write a separate photo-travel-story about it :)