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We develop a close-limit approximation to the head-on collision of two neutron stars similar to that used to treat the merger of black hole binaries. This approximation can serve as a useful benchmark test for future fully non-linear studies. For neutron star binaries, the close-limit approximation involves assuming that the merged object can be approximated as a perturbed, stable neutron star during the ring-down phase of the coalescence. We introduce a prescription for the construction of initial data sets, discuss the physical plausibility of the various assumptions involved, and briefly investigate the character of the gravitational radiation produced during the merger. The numerical results show that several of the merged object’s fluid pulsation modes are excited to a significant level. © 1999 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology