At the time of its discovery, Comet PanSTARRS was 759 million miles from the sun. By comparison Jupiter's average distance from the sun is only 483 million. Based on its orbital characteristics, astronomers believe PanSTARRS is now making its first trip to the inner solar system. Such fresh comets often brighten quickly as fresh ices sublimate, due to the increasing solar radiation as the comet draws nearer, forming a cloud around the nucleus, known as the coma. Sometimes, however, new comets can fade just as quickly as they brighten.