I put this photo up first because I want you to zero in on the out of focus Aurora. Actually, the camera is not out of focus. You can prove that by observing the stars behind the Aurora. So what is the problem? Well as noted previously. Aurora are bands of electromagnetic energy interacting with our earths lines of magnetic force. Thus, the Aurora is NOT static. It is constantly moving. Some move faster than others. This one was really rocking and rolling along. Thus in about a 3 second exposure, you are recording movement, giving the appearance that the star of the show is out of focus.
Below was taken a few minutes after the above photo was taken. This photo is totally different than the one above. If you notice, the lines of energy are more sharply defigned and less spread out. Makes for a good photo. However, each Aurora presentation is different from the last one even though they are appearing in the same section of the sky one right behind the other, just like a fireworks show.
The below photo appears to be out of focus also, but it is not. The one main feature here is how bright this one was. You could actually read a newspaper while it was active. They do not last long. Usually about 30 seconds or so, then they fade out, and when things are rolling, another one comes in and fills up the space. On the other hand, you can have a bright burst as seen in this photo, then things go dead for even up to 30 minutes or so. That is when you go back into the van and warm up and wait for the next event.
This one below is also unique. Actually, they are all unique in their own way, but some stand out more than others. This one had a series of lines across the sky. As I understand it, this burst of energy from the sun is ligning up with the magnetic lines of force surrounding the earth. You can see this quite clearly . Several other things. The Pleiades in the constellation Taurus the Bull is visible behind one of the green magnetic lines of force, and also if you look to the top of the page you see a white streak. That is not a meteor. It is a man made satellite. They are everywhere now, and can screw up a really good photo. Same for airplanes flying by. You can't do anything about it.
Yes, that is piles and piles of snow on the ground. When it snows there, it stays for about 9 months of the year. It does not melt. So you have to deal with it. FYI: Walmart in Fairbanks, has electrical plug in devices for your vehicle out in the parking lot. Not because everyone is driving electric cars, but because everyone has heaters attached to their engine. When you park your vehicle outside for an hour to do some shopping, if you did not have a way of keeping your engine warm you would find that when you attempted to start your vehicle, and hour later, chances are it would not start. So, those plug in devices do not charge up a battery, they energize a heating system (which you have to buy) to keep your engine warm. That is cold. Real cold.