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We present a detailed analysis of binary black hole evolutions in the last orbit and demonstrate consistent and convergent results for the trajectories of the individual bodies. The gauge choice can significantly affect the overall accuracy of the evolution. It is possible to reconcile certain gauge-dependent discrepancies by examining the convergence limit. We illustrate these results using an initial data set recently evolved by Brügmann et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 211101 (2004)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.92.211101]. For our highest resolution and most accurate gauge, we estimate the duration of this data set's last orbit to be approximately 59MADM. © 2006 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters