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A Koniscope (or coniscope) is a scientific instrument to detect and measure content of dust particles in the atmosphere.[1] A koniscope is also called dust counter, or Aitken dust counter,[2] named after John Aitken who invented the first koniscope.[3]

The koniscope is made by connecting a pump with a test tube that is walled with moist paper. The tube is held towards a light source and the pump is briefly activated. Dust particles will cling to the paper, producing a visible change in color.


  1. ^ Storm Dunlop: Dictionary of Weather, ISBN 978-0-19-954144-7 p. 83
  2. ^ American Meteorological Society: Glossary of Meteorology: Aitken dust counter
  3. ^ travel.webshots.com: User oliverjcomo, Science History Tour 2006 -- Part Four (Edinburgh, Siccar Point, Farewell Banquet)