The research team looked through the thick walls of gas and dust in the messy cores of the merging galaxies.
"Seeing the pairs of merging galaxy nuclei associated with huge black holes so close together was pretty awesome", Dr. Koss said.
"In our study, we see two galaxy nuclei right when the images were taken".
'You can't argue with it; it's a very "clean" result, which doesn't rely on interpretation'.
Koss and his team of researchers made the discovery after completing the largest systematic survey of nearby galaxies using high-resolution images taken with W. M. Keck Observatory's adaptive optics (AO) system and near-infrared camera (NIRC2), along with over 20 years of archival Hubble Space Telescope images.
The astronomers said black holes grow the most quickly during the final stages of a galaxy merger, which they witnessed in this case.More news: World leaders arrive late to Armistice Day commemorations in Paris
The images are also said to give a good idea what will happen to our own Milky Way galaxy when it collides with the Andromeda galaxy in a few billion years.
The final stage of a merger between pairs of black holes in the cores of colliding galaxies.
Maunakea, Hawaii - Two galaxies, drawn together by the force of gravity, are merging into a tangled mass of dense gas and dust. She's like floating in a cloud of gas, right in the center of the milky Way. A thick curtain of material forms and shields the galaxy nuclei from view in visible light.
According to the models of merging galaxies provide supermassive black holes great opportunity to tear apart the stars and absorb matter.
"This is the first large systematic survey of 500 galaxies that really isolated these hidden late stage black hole mergers that are heavily obscured and highly luminous", said Koss.
Most other images of merging galaxies have been captured at earlier stages, with their black holes relatively far away from each other.
It's not easy to find galaxy nuclei so close together. They also believe that if there are any more pairs of black holes, they will merge within the next 10 million years and form a massive black hole.More news: Woman charged over Australia strawberry needle scare
The researchers first engaged in the search for hidden black holes, after examining the x-ray data collected over 10 years orbital Observatory Swift.
The findings suggest that galactic mergers may indeed be a key process by which black holes grow to stupendous masses. Hubble archive information was then used to pick merging galaxies spotted via the BAT x-ray data.
"People had conducted studies to look for these close interacting black holes before, but what really enabled this particular study were the X-rays that can break through the cocoon of dust", said Koss.
Some of the most powerful objects in the entire universe are black holes. They studied a total of 96 galaxies with the Keck telescope and 385 from the Hubble, all around 330 million light-years from Earth. Numerous galaxies are similar in size to the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.
The team's results support the theory that galaxy mergers explain how some supermassive black holes become so monstrously large. These waves were only recently discovered in 2016 by Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors.
Gravitational waves are considered ripples in the fabric of spacetime. New data has shed light on how can appear even more massive black holes. This is because when the merger of a pair of galaxies is almost complete, they are surrounded by thick clouds of dust and gas, and only very high-resolution imagery can isolate the two galaxies' colliding nuclei. They published the results in the journal Nature on November 8. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.More news: Saints send Dez Bryant to injured reserve, promote practice squad WR