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Did you know that a 1-kilometer-wide asteroid flew past the Earth this month? Or that a chip-scale device provides broader bandwidth instantaneously to more users? Or that a new "Bold Band" offers a wearable way to monitor blood pressure? Make sure you've seen the latest stories on TechBriefs.com.

More than 13,500 asteroids and near-Earth objects (NEOs) have been discovered since NASA-led surveys began in 1998. And that's not even counting the one from Armageddon.

Chasing asteroids, however, involves a group effort beyond Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck.

To track an object like the 1-kilometer-long "JO25" that passed Earth this month, observatories must collaborate.

Ground-based telescopes around the world, including Hawaii’s Infrared Telescope Facility and NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California, provide imagery to a database at the Minor Planet Center, based in Cambridge, MA. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, headquartered in Pasadena, CA, uses its Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) to predict orbits, like JO25’s three-year path around the Sun.

All of this early detection is overseen by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A new story on TechBriefs.com this week revealed How NASA Tracks Asteroids. Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson explained how facilities worked together to find and track JO25 — an object that Johnson said was large enough to “pretty much wipe out a region of a large state."

According to the NASA Headquarters officer, infrared (IR) technology provides a better way to track the dark asteroids and comets — objects that reflect only 10 to 15 percent of sunlight. In 2016, Tech Briefs spoke with Amy Mainzer, the principal investigator of the Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam). The IR technology will detect the faint heat emitted by near-Earth objects circling the Sun.

We at TechBriefs.com are working harder than a Hollywood team of deep-sea oil drillers to provide new articles on the site every week. Here's a look at our latest stories.

  • A new photonics breakthrough has the potential to "break the bandwidth bottleneck" and provide broader communications instantaneously to more users.

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