NEOCAM would discover ten times more near-Earth objects
than all NEOs discovered to date.
He added: "The threat posed to mankind by the impact of an asteroid or comet is now widely recognised as one of the most significant risks to human civilisation, yet there is no coordinated international effort to identify threatening near-earth objects
, or to deal with them once detected.
Detlef Koschny, responsible for near-earth object
activity at the ESA's Space Situational Awareness program, said separately that it was now possible to determine possible impact zones with just a few hours' notice.
Currently, DA14 matches Earth's year-long orbit around the sun, but after passing the Earth on Friday its orbit will change, according to Paul Chodas, a scientist at the Near-Earth Object
Program Office of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
There are no known near-Earth objects
in 2012 that present a credible risk to Earth," Yeomans said.
Among the topics are simulating flaring events with an intelligent cellular automata mechanism, space weathering on near-earth objects
, the generation of entropy in jet-launching disks, density profiles of star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds, the physics properties of the cosmic acceleration, applications of the stellar spectrograph at the University of Athens observatory, ancient astronomical monuments of Athens, and a Greek campaign for light pollution awareness.
Astronomers first spotted the asteroids three days before the close encounter, using the Catalina Sky Survey telescope near Tucson, which scans the skies for near-Earth objects
SSA was launched at the start of 2009 as a way of monitoring objects such as inactive satellites, discarded launch stages and fragmentation debris satellites, as well as space weather and natural near-Earth objects
that could potentially impact the planet.
In 2008, a report by space experts called for the United Nations Security Council to make the final decision about how to counter potential threats from near-Earth objects
The international interest in lunar science and, more recently, near-Earth objects
led to the
In addition to asteroids and sub-stellar brown dwarfs, scientists say WISE could also find hundreds of near-earth objects
as well as other galaxies.
Four years ago, Congress directed NASA to locate at least 90 percent of near-Earth objects
larger than 140 meters in diameter by 2020.