Morning coffee, let’s be real. Morning coffee shaped the world these days, Jacob’s morning was absolutely no different. If anything, he was the exact example of what ‘running on caffeine’ meant. Every day, Jacob returned to the same place every morning, ordered the same coffee and muffin. With that came familiar faces. It wasn’t just Jacob in the small shop, there were tired moms, busy college students, groups of receptionists, and more.

However, an unfamiliar face in the crowd created some disturbance in Jacob as he waited for his regular order to be made, his eyes nonchalantly observed his surroundings. A quick glance to his eyes caused him to stare more than usual. Was this man really falling asleep in this cafe? An eyebrow raise, Jacob couldn’t help but scoff at the sight. What was this man thinking? As his order came up, the guy took it from the counter and sighed.

He couldn’t drink this coffee, not while another man was embarrassing himself by passing out in a public place. After thanking the barista (then requesting another order he’d gladly pay for again) and tipping, Jacob headed over to the sleepy man. With another sigh, Jacob roughly placed the coffee cup onto the table, then the muffin. “Looks like you need this more than me,” Jacob announced, sighing through his nose once again.


"Hm?" His breath came, first, sharp and sudden as he snapped back into it. Out of it. Whichever. Keith blinked. He could feel the hair stuck up on the side, where his palm had slid through; quickly, the mistake dawning on him, he smoothed it down. Fucking Christ. Really? In front of everyone? 

He must have looked awful. He must have looked homeless, he thought, before remembering his careful button-up and the way his watch fit his wrist. The guy across from him certainly wasn’t sparing any scrutiny, he could see that just fine—Keith reached possessively for his own coffee as if to say no, see, I have, but there was no warmth through the styrofoam anymore. And there was the fresh cup with steam coming up like a smoke signal through the lid. 

"Long night," he muttered. Poor excuse. But his fingers folded around the new coffee, anyway, and that first swallow was hot on his tongue. He tried to soothe it against the roof of his mouth. "How much?" Keith didn’t do charity. He absolutely did not do charity.


4 days ago
via · source
3,863 notes
Tags: #!!!!! #stars


Animations of Saturn’s aurorae

Earth isn’t the only planet in the solar system with spectacular light shows. Both Jupiter and Saturn have magnetic fields much stronger than Earth’s. Auroras also have been observed on the surfaces of Venus, Mars and even on moons (e.g. Io, Europa, and Ganymede). The auroras on Saturn are created when solar wind particles are channeled into the planet’s magnetic field toward its poles, where they interact with electrically charged gas (plasma) in the upper atmosphere and emit light. Aurora features on Saturn can also be caused by electromagnetic waves generated when its moons move through the plasma that fills the planet’s magnetosphere.  The main source is the small moon Enceladus, which ejects water vapor from the geysers on its south pole, a portion of which is ionized. The interaction between Saturn’s magnetosphere and the solar wind generates bright oval aurorae around the planet’s poles observed in visible, infrared and ultraviolet light. The aurorae of Saturn are highly variable. Their location and brightness strongly depends on the Solar wind pressure: the aurorae become brighter and move closer to the poles when the Solar wind pressure increases.

Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. Calçada)

They’d made the lights brighter since the last time he was here. Keith could see them in smudges behind his eyelids as he leaned back in the booth, fingers light on the side of his coffee and then slowly sliding down. He had half a mind to complain, you know. A café with ceiling lamps like gamma rays; it wasn’t right. He had half a mind to—well, to—


Once a month, Keith had to pull an overnight at the observatory. It was usually the best night of the month, for him: the quiet, the darkness, the sky spread out and lit up and ready, raw data, his eyes, his hands. And he always made it home the next morning, easy enough — under an hour on his bike, if you counted the stop for a bagel on the way. 

Except this morning, he couldn’t get up from the booth. His palm slid out from under his chin and dragged up against his cheek, eyes closing again, all his air coming out in a slow rush. If he were conscious, he’d kick himself awake. This was embarrassing. But he was slipping, as he leaned over the table, and before he could catch himself, he was flat against the wood. Asleep.


5 days ago
via · source
838 notes
Tags: #stars


A stream of plasma burst out from the Sun, but since it lacked enough force to break away, most of it fell back into the Sun (May 27, 2014).

The GIF/movie combines two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, and covers a little over two hours. Minor eruptions like this one occur almost daily, representing the dynamic activity driven by powerful magnetic forces near the Sun’s surface.

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA

6 days ago · 6 notes · reblog · tagged: #ooc
6 days ago
via · source
2 notes
Tags: #bio


Keith Caputo ► 34 ► Astronomer ► Adam Scott


Keith’s father might have died two years after he was born, but that hardly meant the boy didn’t know him. Here were the pictures on the mantle in their Brooklyn apartment; here was the folded-up flag from the funeral; here was his pointed chin in the mirror. This was how they were meant to live, in absentia. This was what the Lord’s plan had been. And every Sunday, he and his mother went to St. Joseph’s Church to see if they could find out more about that plan. Keith’s knees sank into the cracked cushions and he memorized all the prayers, confessed every sin. He wore the altar boys’ robes and carried the cross down the aisle.

He was going to be an astronaut, he decided. That’s where Heaven was — up there, where the sky split blue and the black spilled over and all the stars sparked morse-code messages from the dead. Drawings they did in Catechism classes had the angels up with the clouds, but he knew better. If he stayed smart and he did was he was supposed to do, he could touch the face of God. 

Of course, that was before the meningitis.

He was twelve when the bacteria hit his brain. He sweat out the fever on his living room couch, blinking under the damp washcloth, but he didn’t get better. They took him to the hospital on the fourth day. The priests prayed, the drugs dripped through his IV. He paled and then got his color back, and his mother thanked the Lord for her son’s recovery. He remembers that, now. He remembers his mother thanking the Lord that her boy was alright.

Because he wasn’t alright, was he? His hearing dimmed like a waning moon. It was gone before his thirteenth birthday — and with it, any chance at getting in one of those spaceships. So he adjusted. He sat silent in the confessionals. He signed up for the honors classes at his public school; it wasn’t impossible, if he sat up at the front and squinted to lip-read. That was how he got to Duke, you know: persistence. That was how anyone got anywhere. Big Universities like that, they have ASL translators — the hearing aids his mother bought wouldn’t work, so he threw them out and waited to graduate. Waited for his first job with insurance. Waited for the cochlear implants that would make everything back the way it was supposed to be.

The girlfriends never sticked, but they wouldn’t — he was busy, you know, he was preoccupied. Never-mind the boys who felt better in his bed, who smelled like pine needles and never flowers. That wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. That was the one thing out of place, in the grand scheme, and when his mom finally — god, when she finally found out, she told him this had always been the Plan. God saw something sick in him, all those years ago, and God punished him for it. 

That was the end of God, and his mother. Keith wiped his hands of both of them and he got his degrees in Astronomy, and he got those damn cochlear implants that helped filter some sound back in. He got a job in DC and he promised himself he’d never look back. 

New Plan.

Additional Information

  • Keith picked up a limited range of Spanish from his old neighborhood, but he has a lot of trouble with it now unless it’s written down.
  • He wears his cochlear implants to work and to most social occasions, but he prefers to leave them out whenever possible. If he had it his way, he’d rely solely on ASL and lip-reading. 
  • Keith doesn’t doubt his homosexuality anymore. He does, however, shy away from “pride”-related behavior — you won’t find him at a gay bar or at a parade, and he doesn’t give much thought to gay rights.
  • He works in Observational Astronomy at the Smithsonian, where he has a fellowship for Planetary Studies. 

Keith is played by Norma in EST.

1 week ago
via · source
1 note
Tags: #face