Of all of the conspiracy theories which abound in the world today, none is more persistent than the theory that we never went to the Moon. Many claim the initial landing, televised around the global, was not the real deal, but rather a special effects production, made in a film studio. But now new graphical simulations by chip maker NVIDIA are putting this theory to ground for good.
Conspiracy theorists point to the lighting of the Moon photographs as evidence of a hoax.
Adherents to the Moon landing hoax theory, often point to the lighting of the Moon photographs as evidence to the footage being staged. They claim that the way that astronauts were lit up, even when they were standing in the shade of their landing craft would be impossible, and instead claim that they were lit using movie-style key lighting. In addition, they claim that the lack of stars in photographs of the Moon’s surface prove that they are fake.
GPU maker NVIDIA took it upon themselves to dispel this theory as a way of demonstrating the unique capabilities of their new Maxwell chip architecture, and its Global Illumination modeling features. Knowing that the extra lighting of the astronauts could have been due to sunlight being reflected by the surface of the Moon, they set out to build a perfect digital 3D model of an iconic moon landing photograph.
From there they undertook extensive research into the reflectivity of both the Moon’s surface, as well the many different kinds of materials used in the Apollo Moon Lander, and then integrated these into their simulation. They then added in a single light source correctly modeled off the intensity of the Sun, and used the Global Illumination algorithms to observe the results.
Their final simulation, once tweaked to include reflections from the space suit of another astronaut, turned out to be an almost perfect replica of the the origin image shot while on the Moon, disproving any conspiracy theory regarding a second light source. Furthermore, they were also able to show that the lack of stars in the sky in these images was due to the short exposure time of the cameras used on the overlit Moon surface.
Sadly, while this definitively proves the claims of conspiracy theorists false, it is likely they will abandon their beliefs so easily. Who knows, maybe NVIDIA is a CIA/NSA/Illuminati operation?
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