Nvidia, makers of video game graphics technology claim they have used it to recreate the lunar landing to prove it wasn't fake, refuting the hoax that it was filmed on a movie set.
The company put their GM204 graphical processing unit to the test by recreating the entire scene within Unreal Engine 4, so they can investigate the one image many theorists have claimed to be a fake. As Buzz Aldrin descended the ladder of Apollo 11's lunar module, the lighting of the scene came under scrutiny due to the allegation that with Buzz in the shadow of the sun (behind the lunar module) the only way he could be lit up in the shot is by another light source like studio lighting.
Nvidia's answer? The rays of the sun that reflected off the surface of the moon, combined with Neil Armstrong's white EVA suit, gave enough light to overcome the shadow and illuminate Aldrin. Using VXGI (voxel-based global illumination) they were able to accurately pinpoint the many various angles of which the light progressively reflected off different surfaces. Beyond this, they took a deep dive into the tiniest of details, such as the properties of moon dust and the reflectivity of space suit materials, to arrive at this conclusion, effectively debunking decades of conspiracy theories.
Alongside providing this proof, Nvidia went one step further to refute a further go-to claim by theorists - that there are no stars in the sky. The understanding has been clear from photographers that due to exposure settings picking up the brightly-lit surface of the moon, the stars would not be visible. The team also demonstrated this through changing the levels on their graphical output as well.
Pretty 'open and shut' really.
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