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Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter (Venetia)

NSSDCA ID: 2006-001A-07

Mission Name: New Horizons Pluto Kuiper Belt Flyby
Principal Investigator:Dr. Mihaly Horanyi


The Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter (Venetia) is an education and public outreach project designed by students to measure the concentration of dust particles in the outer solar system. It will count and measure the sizes of dust impacts during the cruise to Pluto and beyond. It can measure dust particles from 4E-12 to 4E-9 grams with a resolution of a factor of two in mass. The instrument consists of two parts, a detector assembly which is 32.1 x 46.7 cm with a 0.125 square meter collecting area using polyvinlidine flouride film mounted on the outside of the spacecraft and an electronics box mounted internally. Venetia will begin operating in July 2006 after post-launch checkouts are complete. The instrument is named in honor of Venetia Burney Phair, who at the age of 11 suggested the name "Pluto" for the newly discovered planet in 1930.

Alternate Names

  • NewHorizons/Venetia
  • Venetia

Facts in Brief

Mass: 1.9 kg
Power (avg): 5 W

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Mihaly HoranyiPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of

Selected References

  • Horányi, M., et al., The Student Dust Counter on the New Horizons Mission, Space Sci. Rev., 140, 387-402, 2008.
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