Eric Walter Elst

Eric Walter Elst
Born30 November 1936 Edit this on Wikidata
Kapellenbos Edit this on Wikidata
Died2 January 2022 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 85)
Antwerp Edit this on Wikidata
Website Edit this on Wikidata
Academic career
Minor planets discovered: 3868 [1]
see § List of discovered minor planets

Eric Walter Elst (30 November 1936 – 2 January 2022) was a Belgian astronomer at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Uccle and a prolific discoverer of asteroids. The Minor Planet Center ranks him among the top 10 discoverers of minor planets with thousands of discoveries made at ESO's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile and at the Rozhen Observatory in Bulgaria during 1986–2009.[1]

The minor planet 3936 Elst, a stony Vestian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, roughly 6 kilometers in diameter, was named in his honour.[2][3]


Elst is cred by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery of 3866 numbered minor planets made between 1986 and 2009.[1]

Notable discoveries include 4486 Mithra, a near-Earth and Apollo asteroid, 7968 Elst-Pizarro, which is classified as both asteroid and comet, and more than 25 Jupiter trojans. His discoveries also include:

Minor planet articles also exist for 12696 Camus, 8116 Jeanperrin, 22740 Rayleigh, 6267 Rozhen and 9951 Tyrannosaurus, among others.

Personal life and death[]

Elst was born in Kapellen on 30 November 1936. He died in Antwerp on 2 January 2022, at the age of 85.[4]

See also[]


  1. ^ a b c "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  2. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3936) Elst". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3936) Elst. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 335. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3925. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ "LCDB Data for (3936) Elst". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  4. ^ VVS, Death notice Eric W. Elst (1936–2022)