The Center for Atmospheric Sciences | » John J. Blalock

    • B.S., Physics, Longwood University, 2013

    • Email

      john.blalock1211@gmail.com

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  • News

      Recent News:

      June 10, 2016 : APS Scientists Observe Mercury Transit with the Public

      On May 9th, 2016, a special celestial event occurred when the planet Mercury lined up exactly with the Sun in the sky as viewed from the Earth. In Hampton, Mercury began to cross the disk of the Sun shortly after sunrise at 7:20am and spent a leisurely seven hours making a sharp, round shadow on […]


      October 23, 2015 : APS Professor Moore Hosts Astronomy Night Event

      The White House announced earlier this year that October 19th of this year was going to be the National Astronomy Night, and invited professional scientists and amateur astronomers to host events around the country.  The goal is to expand access to STEM experiences for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors.  The White House […]


      August 6, 2015 : Grad Student John Blalock wins NASA Fellowship

      BIG Congratulations to Planetary Science PhD student John Blalock, who has won a prestigious NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship to support his doctoral dissertation research! John’s winning research proposal was titled “Measurement of Seasonal Changes in Saturn’s Zonal Wind Profile using Cassini ISS images,” in which he proposed to examine images of Saturn collected […]


      June 1, 2015 : APS Exhibit lights up CNU STEM Day
      Fire tornado demonstration.

      The Hampton University Atmospheric and Planetary Science Department took its show on the road on Saturday, May 30, to Christopher Newport University’s annual STEM Day celebration.  Faculty members John McNabb and William Moore were joined by graduate students John Blalock, Liqiao Lei, and Earnest Nyaku inside and outside the CNU Field House to demonstrate atmospheric […]


  • John J. Blalock

    I am currently a PhD candidate studying planetary atmospheres.

    My research interests focus on using satellite remote sensing data to understand atmospheric dynamics and cloud morphology in planetary atmospheres, especially gas giant planets like Saturn and Jupiter. I also have an interest in looking at techniques that were developed to analyze the Earth’s atmosphere to understand how these can be utilized to better analyze other atmospheres.

    My dissertation work is focused on utilizing images returned from Cassini’s Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) to understand the seasonal cycles in Saturn’s zonal winds and cloud patterns. The details of the zonal wind analysis can be seen here (Seasonal Analysis of Zonal Winds and Vertical Wind Shear on Saturn from Cassini ISS Images) and the details of the cloud analysis can be seen here (Seasonal Color Changes in Saturn’s North Polar Region). I also utilize images of Jupiter returned from Cassini and New Horizons to help calibrate my measurement techniques and to extend our records of Jupiter’s winds.

    I have also participated in projects studying the winds/clouds on Venus and polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) on Earth.

    Related press items:

    https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21049

    https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21441

    Project: Seasonal Analysis of Zonal Winds and Vertical Wind Shear on Saturn from Cassini ISS Images

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    We are working on a project to calculate global mean zonal wind profiles for different altitudes in Saturn’s lower atmosphere using Cassini ISS images captured using the continuum band (CB) and methane absorption (MT) filters between 2004 and 2013. Specifically, I utilize the CB2 (750 nm), MT2 (727 nm), and MT3 (889 nm) filters for […]

    Project: Analysis of Venusian Zonal Winds Using Venus Express Data

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    We measure the zonal mean wind structure of Venus between 2006 and 2013 in the ultraviolet images captured by the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard the ESA Venus Express (VEx) spacecraft which observed Venus’s southern hemisphere. Our wind measurements employ a digital two-dimensional Correlation Imaging Velocimetry (CIV) method to track cloud motions. Our current focus is on understanding […]

    Project: Simulating the CIPS Instrument

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    This project was completed during the summer internship at Hampton University in 2016.  This is an abstract that I used for the poster presentation at the 97th AMS Annual Meeting: We present preliminary results of simulating the view of the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) instrument onboard the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere […]

    Project: Seasonal Color Changes in Saturn’s North Polar Region

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    We utilize Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) images to understand the color changes in Saturn’s north polar region between 2012 and 2016/17. Related press items: https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21049 https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21611