A network of plastic microlenses will make X-ray telescopes smaller and more efficient.

X-ray telescopes are one of the most important tools for studying the Universe. Such devices have already allowed

astronomers obtain data on the structure of black holes and supernovae - this information has significantly improved the understanding of the formation processes of galaxies and astronomical objects.

X-ray telescopes have a number of disadvantages -X-rays do not pass through the atmosphere of the Earth, so such devices can only work in space. Other issues concern resolution and focal length.

Because X-rays pass throughmatter, they cannot be reflected or refracted like visible light or radio waves, so they are difficult to focus. So, instead of lenses or reflectors, X-ray telescopes use a set of cylindrical mirrors that focus the X-rays, causing them to bend at a very small angle. This is a practical solution, but it does not allow high resolution and requires a very long focal length.

Plastic lenses that developResearchers allow bending X-rays at a greater angle than conventional mirrors, which sharply reduces the focal length of the telescope to 50 cm - for comparison, this value is 10 m for the Chandra telescope

Earlier, the Russian ground-space observatoryRadioastron has found evidence that in the center of the galaxy OJ287 there are a couple of supermassive black holes that rotate at a short distance from each other.