Contemporary Science 3/13/13. W. Jeffrey Hughes, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy, Director of Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Boston University. In this era, when we are dependent on satellites, electronics and the electric grid, the activity of the Sun becomes very important. Dr. Hughes explains the dynamics of the Sun and the potential impact of solar magnetic storms on the Earth. The year 2013 is expected to bring a "solar maximum" -a period of intense solar storms, some of which produce coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can penetrate the Earth's protective magnetosphere, causing massive electrical blackouts and other damage. Dr. Hughes explains how scientists monitor the solar activity and how governments are preparing for such potential damage.