"Nichols' death was confirmed on Sunday by her son, Kyle Johnson, on her
website. Johnson said his mother died of natural causes.
"Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time,
will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw
inspiration," Johnson said in a statement posted to the website.
Johnson said his mother's life was "well-lived and as such a model for"
everyone. He asked for privacy for the family."