There are three images below, the first is a recent (2009) image, while the older images show the supernovae.
Supernova 2002 ap:
Discovered by Japanese amateur Yoji Hirose on January 29, 2002.
Magnitude 13.36 in the Kopernik image.
Supernova 2003 gd:
Discovered visually by amateur Robert Evans of Australia.
Spiral Galaxy M-74:
Quote from the Deep Sky Field Guide to Uranometria 2000:
Very small, bright nucleus, two main arms with dark matter and much branching.
Quote from Burnham's Celestial Handbook:
Large spiral galaxy, first served by P.Mechain in September 1780, and confirmed by Messier....... M-74 is one of the most perfect examples of a face-on spiral, resembling the large M-101 in Ursa Major but somewhat more symmetrical ..... A.Sandage (1961) in the Hubble Atlas of Galaxies states that the chief spiral arms.... have a thickness of about 1,000 parsecs, (and) are bordered on their inner edges by thin dust lanes (which) may be traced deep into the nuclear hub. At a distance of close to 30 million light years, the 9' diameter corresponds to about 80,000 light years; the total absolute magnitude is about -20.1, or about 13 billion times the light of the Sun. The galaxy thus seems to be not greatly inferior in size to our own, but has a much lower luminosity, unless the computed distance is considerably underestimated..... All (estimates from the 1960's) agree in giving a distance in the range of 25 to 33 million light years.
Quote from K.G. Jonesís Messierís Nebulae & Star Clusters:
This open spiral galaxy often causes the amateur observer considerable trouble and it can be quite a difficult object unless the sky is (perfect)..... it appears round, with a fairly sharp central nucleus which is almost star-like, surrounded by a very diffuse area of about 6' diameter which responds only to averted vision and even then reveals little or no detail. Perhaps, like the nebulosity of M 45, it may well be easier to see in small telescopes of wide field than in larger instruments.
Note: despite the above, M-74 is a rather easy object to observe in a telescope like Kopernikís 20-inch F/8.
George Normandin, KAS
November 3rd, 2009