Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory 'Debunked' by Nvidia Tech

New Global Illumination technology suggests scrutinized Apollo 11 picture was not impossibly lit.


Graphics card vendor Nvidia claims it can debunk one of the most common moon landing conspiracy theories thanks to its new lighting technology.

Photos of the Apollo 11 mission have been scrutinized by conspiracy theorists for decades, with skeptics claiming that the lighting on some of the pictures would not have been possible on Earth's moon.

This famous Apollo 11 photo has been scrutinised by conspiracy theorists for decades
This famous Apollo 11 photo has been scrutinised by conspiracy theorists for decades

One photo in particular, taken during the 1969 mission, shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin illuminated despite standing in the shadow of the Lunar module. For years, some have claimed this would not have been possible unless there was an additional light source--such as a studio light.

However, Nvidia has recreated the scene in Unreal Engine 4 and--using its global illumination technology--was successfully able to recreate the image with only the sun as a light source.

Global illumination is a new technology which calculates the reflection and spread of light from a range of factors such as material and light strength.

Nvidia's demo suggests that the sun's rays reflecting off the surface of the moon, and in particular Neil Armstrong's reflective white EVA suit, created enough light to illuminate Aldrin.

A video explaining its findings can be seen above.

The graphics card firm made the discovery to promote the new technology featured in its new GeForce GTX 980 and 970 graphics cards. GameSpot's review of the cards can be found here.

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