AG: The temperature would need to be measured by using the measured intensities of shock-tracing excited lines of various atoms (e.g. C, N, O). It may actually be possible to do this. It is worth investigating how accurate current estimate of supershell-shock region temperature are. I think that this may only be a viable technique when the shells are younger than any that are observed, but someone should check.
AG: Iím not sure we live long enough to measure the cooling rate. If one could find a way to measure temperature that was extraordinarly accurate, I suppose a 20 year baseline might give a time dependence (much the way VLBI can give useful proper motions on that time scale), but this would be very difficult. The necessary calculation here is to see what the expected difference in temperature is for a currently observed shell, over 20 years.
AG: The new WHAM data may be good enough to do this experiment. Someone should check!
Pinaki Chatterjee on shock interactions: Citing the simulations of Tenorio-Tagle, Bodenheimer, and Rozyczka (1987, A&A, 26, 145; see also several other works by this group, including Rozyczka et al. 1993, MNRAS, 261, 674.), Pinaki points out that the interaction of shocks from multiple SNe is complex, in that they can reflect off the (previous) shell boundary and also lead to Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. The simulations show that it is very difficult to produce the largest supershells with multiple explosions because of this.
AG: Although I donít think this will settle the SN/GRB issue definitively, it would be interesting to look for evidence of the instabilities via high-resolution observations of the shells (as proposed by Rines for possible AGN supershells (see below).
AG: This is true, but very hard to observe, given that the density structure of the ISM will ultimately dominate the detailed shape of the supershell. Not many students, except for Aaron Sokasian, appreciated how much effect cloud density structure will have on the ultimate shape of a large supershell.
AG: Yes, but we need to know more about GRBsí origin by other means at the same time.
AG: As Ken asks, the question is whether the column density of H I expected in the shells would be high enough to detect in such an HI-VLA observation. That should be checked?it might be possible. Also, Iím not sure this study would rule out SNe, which might also occur in large numbers near the centers of AGNe, but finding supershells in AGNe would be interesting nonetheless.
AG: I agree?and the new Hipparcos data should help with that. I am not sure, though, whether anyone is specifically conducting a systematic census for O and B stars using the Hipparcos or other new data.
AG: Surveys of other galaxies in synchrotron emission DO exist. Many have been carried out with Effelsberg, and some with the VLA. It might be possible to look for otherwise unexplained synchrotron peaks in these galaxies and then follow them up with other observations. I seriously doubt the number of galaxies mapped in synchrotron is anywhere near high enough at present to expect to find a young GRB, but one might find other interesting "point-like" sources.
Xiaohu Wang on young shells: Xiaohu points out that a SN-generated shell will have much less kinetic energy when the shell is small than will a GRB shell, so that if one could find a small shell with very high kinetic energy, a single-explosion hypothesis would be favored.
AG: True, but we still have to find a young shell!