We study the behavior near the singularity t=0 of Gowdy metrics. We prove existence of an open dense set $\hat \Omega$ of boundary points near which the solution is smoothly ``asymptotically velocity term dominated" (AVTD). We show that the set of AVTD solutions satisfying a uniformity condition is open in the set of all solutions. We analyse in detail the asymptotic behavior of ``power law" solutions at the (hitherto unchartered) points at which the asymptotic velocity equals zero or one. Several other related results are established.
We analyse exhaustively the structure of non-degenerate Cauchy horizons in Gowdy space-times, and we establish existence of a large class of non-polarized Gowdy space-times with such horizons.
You are invited to visit http://grtensor.phy.queensu.ca/gowdy for calculations of the Kretschmann scalar in AVTD Gowdy space-times.