Block was born at Baldonu, Latvia on April 15, 1847. He studied astronomy at Dorpat and became an assistant there in 1868 (see W. Struve). He changed to Pulkovo Observatory in 1871 (see O. Struve). After two years he went to the Odessa Observatory (Ukraine), where he worked as an astronomer from 1873. He used a 4" comet seeker for visual observations of comets and nebulae. With this instrument he found the large planetary nebula NGC 1360 in Fornax on October 18, 1879 (first discovered by Lewis Swift 1857 and seen again by Tempel in 1861 and Winnecke in 1868). In the same night Block saw the galaxy NGC 1398 in Fornax (in Block's times the area belongs to Eridanus). This object was discovered by Tempel in 1861. It was also found by Winnecke 1868 at Karlsruhe. Block died on May 12, 1912. The observations are published in: Block, E., Schreiben des Herrn E. Block an den Herausgeber, AN  96, 110-112 (1880).
|N||1360||1879||10||18||4,0||Rr||v||Swift L. 1859||Tempel 9.10.1861
Winnecke Jan. 1868
|N||1398||1879||10||18||4,0||Rr||v||Tempel 9.10.1861||Winnecke 17.12.1868||FOR||SBab||1|