The first non-story commentary to appear in the newsletter:
Interest in the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet impact on Jupiter was so intense that people couldn’t get enough of it — despite lukewarm media coverage of the once-in-a-dozen-lifetimes event.
Not finding enough facts or photos on television, people all over the world turned to the Internet. Despite the fact that many net-surfers don’t even have access to the right software to browse the “World Wide Web”, three NASA sites report backbone-breaking traffic on their WWW servers during the cosmic collision: over 2,000,000 Web logins during the period July 15-27.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory alone reported 1,200,000 logins in that time frame, estimating that it served up 17.5 gigabytes of photos and text. NASA was only one of several organizations offering images and information to the knowledge-hungry.
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Of course, JPL’s web site is still there: Comet Shoemaker-Levy Collision with Jupiter. I was later honored to meet astronomer David Levy, who had co-discovered the comet in the first place, as we watched the Pluto mission launch together.