Mark J. Coco
From AstronomyOutreach network
The AstronomyOutreach network is dedicated to the memory of a dear friend and mentor, Mark J. Coco. An authority on astronomy and telescopes, Mark helped thousands of amateur astronomers improve their skills to explore the universe through his writing, lectures, and public demonstrations.
Mark introduced me to astronomers and astronomy in the early 1980's while he was working at Celestron as a technical representative. His passion was for astrophotography, of which he wrote many articles on the subject.
Mark had a fantastic sense of humor, and indeed it was hard to even get through an entire session of astrophotography because so much of the time was spent laughing at his stories and jokes. Which was not to mean that he didn't produce work, he was a prolific astrophotographer as his collection of images prove. Mark did have a serious side, but he would often remind us to see the lighter things in life. In this way, he was wise beyond his years.
One of Mark's ideas for an article was to do a piece on large format astrophotography, of which he asked if I would work with him on the project. I knew that Mark had thought up the idea because he knew that I loved large format photography. Looking back on it, it was a very kind act, which was typical of Mark. I agreed to do it not because I thought I was a good technical writer, but because any excuse to get together with Mark meant that we were going to have a good time. The result was "Big on Celestial Photography" published in Astronomy Magazine in 1995.
His career in astronomy aside, Mark was deeply devoted to his wife and children. He is very missed by his family and the rest of us who called him our friend. At his passing, I think we were all reminded of how he enriched our lives.