NASA says it will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. GMT) on Thursday to reveal near-Earth asteroid findings and implications for future research. The briefing will take place at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, launched in December 2009, captured millions of images of galaxies and objects in space. During the news conference, panelists will discuss results from an enhancement of WISE called Near-Earth Object WISE (NEOWISE) that hunted for asteroids.
The news conference panelists will include Lindley Johnson, Near-Earth Object program executive, NASA Headquarters, Washington; Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California; Tim Spahr, director, Minor Planet Center, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Lucy McFadden, scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.
The conference takes place on the same week that a 13-metre-wide asteroid, named SE58, passed within 0.6 Lunar Distances of Planet Earth. SE58′s approach occured in the early hours of Tuesday 27 September 2011.
The NASA conference also coincides with an ESA (European Space Agency) seminar on Space Situational Awareness, which also be held on Thursday in Warsaw, Poland. Participants will include senior managers, policy-makers and scientists from ESA, ESA Member States, the EU, European institutions and international partner organisations.