On very good nights, the Cat’s eye nebula, NGC 6543, can show some detail even with small telescopes. Here is my sketch and observing report from August 2009 in a night of very good seeing. The first thing that I notice at low power is the pale green color of the nebula and its oval shape. The seeing is good, so I can push up the power: using 222x at first the nebula appears mottled, but in the best moments some detail can be seen. It has a round inner zone with two little extensions at north and south. The central round zone has a slightly brighter rim, making it annular in appearance. The central star, at magnitude 11.1, is easily seen. In the sketch the details are slightly exaggerated, but I think it is a good match to the eyepiece view. A beautiful planetary to squeeze the telescope!
Sketch: 2HB graphite pencil on white paper, scanned and processed with Photoshop Elements 2.0
Object Name: NGC 6543, The Cat’s Eye Nebula
Object Type: Planetary Nebula
Location: Asturias, Spain
Date: August 22, 2009
Instrument: 120mm f/8.3 refractor + Barlow 2x + BO/TMB Planetary 9mm eyepiece (222x)