Enjoyable report. When M87 hit the wires this year, back in April I went out and observed M87 using my 90-mm refractor and 10-inch Newtonian reflector - because I had too . Both telescopes showed the elliptical galaxy, the 10-inch much better view with easy somewhat roundish milky shape. It would be interesting to see a list of all confirmed black holes like the exoplanet confirmed list, e.g. http://exoplanet.eu/ Cygnus X-1 was in the news back in early 1970s.