Today marks the first birthday for the Gish Bar Times. You can check out the original Welcome message that I posted a year ago this very minute. Despite the lack of a spacecraft at Io during this past year, and there won't be until Juno arrives in 2016, this past year has been pretty exciting with the Outer Planet Flagship Mission contest, a legitimate proposal to send a dedicated mission to Io, and further processing work on Galileo images of Io.
I want to thank all of you for visiting the blog on a regular basis. Your support has really helped spur me to try to write interesting posts on the science and exploration of this exciting, but often forgotten moon of Jupiter. When I started this blog last year, I didn't quite know if a blog about a single moon of Io would work or would find many readers. It took a while for me to really find my voice and write these more substantive posts, but I have grown more and more satisfied by what I've done with place.
When I started this blog, my goal was to talk more about the science side of Io, talking about new volcanic activity observed by ground-based observers, astro-photography posted online, and new papers. In the last year, I was definitely drawn more and more to the exploration side, with quite a few posts dedicated to future approved and proposed missions. In the next year, I'm not sure if there will be quite the level of future mission news now that the flagship mission has been selected. The IVO concept study should be wrapping up in the next few months, but I am not sure how much more it will change from the December 2008 Io Workshop presentation.
So what can you expect from this blog over the next year? Well, it is clear to me that I can't quite sustain this readership in the future by focusing ENTIRELY on Io. Now don't get me wrong, this is an Io blog. It will always be an Io blog. Much of the in-depth coverage on this blog will be dedicated to Io. So, paper summaries and reprocessed images will be about Io. However, to keep the blog fresh, I think it would be a good idea to broaden the topics covered here. So, I will also talk about the other objects in the Jovian system...including Europa if I have to. I will also post on news related to planetary volcanism (on Titan, Mars, Venus, or major eruptions on Earth). I think this will help sustain the viability of this blog in the long term and maintain interest when there isn't much to talk about regarding Io.
Anyways, thanks for reading this little missive. Go ahead and post comments to this post and let me know what you think of this idea.