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We examine current numerical relativity computations of gravitational waves, which typically determine the asymptotic waves at infinity by extrapolation from finite (small) radii. Using simulations of a black hole binary with accurate wave extraction at r=1000M, we show that extrapolations from the near zone are self-consistent in approximating measurements at this radius, although with a somewhat reduced accuracy. We verify that ψ4 is the dominant asymptotic contribution to the gravitational energy (as required by the peeling theorem) but point out that gauge effects may complicate the interpretation of the other Weyl components. © 2009 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology