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RE: GAME24: Debunking Lunar Landing Conspiracies with Maxwell and VXGI

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Published on Oct 2, 2014

Recently, the computer graphics and hardware company NVIDIA released a video in which they claimed to have recreated the famous Apollo 11 photo of Buzz Aldrin descending the lunar module ladder using their Maxwell GPU and Global Illumination software. By popular demand, here is my thorough debunking of their nonsense.

In summary, NVIDIA claims that Buzz Aldrin was illuminated in shadow primarily by light reflecting off Neil Armstrong's spacesuit and to a lesser part the lunar surface.

However, comparing NVIDIA's cgi image of Aldrin solely lit by the lunar surface with real life experiments taken on surfaces with the same albedo as the moon - not to mention photographs from Chang'e 3 and Lunokhod which show shaded objects in darkness unless the sunlit landscape is overexposed - it becomes clear that NVIDIA has upped the albedo setting on their cgi lunar surface to be far greater than the 0.12 claimed in their video. The actual albedo they used is probably 0.4. This is further evident by the fact that NVIDIA's cgi image with the light reflecting off Neil Armstrong's suit is only marginally brighter than without him.

And the claim that Neil Armstrong was the light source can be debunked by the fact that in the Apollo 12 telecast (also faked) Pete Conrad had to stand right up close to the ladder or MESA to cast significantly bright reflections on his LM's ladder - and that's even with the landscape overexposed! Not to mention the fact that the first pictures of Aldrin descending the ladder were allegedly taken when Neil Armstrong was almost completely shrouded in the LM's shadow. As shown by the corresponding telecast. And yet Aldrin looks exactly as bright as he did in the later photos.

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