A supermoon’s bright light illuminates the clouds over Germany, 2018. As the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical, the Moon is sometimes closer to Earth and sometimes farther away. When it is closer to Earth, it seems bigger and brighter. And when it is closest to the Earth at full moon, it is called a supermoon.

The Moon today is also at full moon, but it is actually at a point in its orbit farthest from Earth, making it look smaller and less bright. It is accordingly called a micromoon or minimoon.